Selfie gone wrong: Tourist couple dies in Portugal

Published: June 14, 2018
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Ericeira beach in Portugal. PHOTO: REUTERS

Ericeira beach in Portugal. PHOTO: REUTERS

A British-Australian couple has fallen to their death while taking a selfie on a 40 metre-high wall in Portugal, according to The Guardian.

The couple were believed to have dropped their phone, losing their balance on the wall overlooking a popular tourist beach near Ericrea, authorities say.

According to the Portuguese newspaper, Correio da Manhã, the couple died on Praia dos Pescadores (Fishermen’s Beach). The beach is a seaside resort on Portugal’s western coast.

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The head of rescue service in Cascais port, Rui Pereira da Terra, reported to the news agency Lusa that officials suspect the couple was taking a selfie when the tragic fall occurred. “Everything seems to indicate that the fall happened when they were probably trying to take a selfie,” he stated.

“Since we found a mobile phone on the wall, everything suggests the victims might have been taking a selfie, when they allowed the phone to fall, leaned over to grab it and fell,” he reportedly added.

The man and woman were unnamed in the report but their ages were revealed to be 40 and 30, respectively. The couple fell more than 30 metres, according to Lusa, and were discovered by a beach cleaner early on Tuesday morning.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular support to “the family of an Australian who died in Portugal”, it said in a statement to the AAP.

It is uncertain which of the couple is an Australian citizen. Further, there have been conflicting reports on the ages of the couple.

DFAT stated on Wednesday, “The department has been in contact with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office regarding the other person who died in the incident.”

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According to the Jornal de Notícias, fishermen came upon a “horror scene” as they encountered the bodies at around 6: 30am.

“At first the fishermen thought the corpses, from far away, might be people sleeping on the beach,” the Jornal wrote. “Only when they got closer did they realise that it was a dead couple and they were shocked with what they saw.”

Ericeira is a town 30 kilometres from Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city. The town is a famous surfing spot, with its beach surrounded by cliffs and a high wall. The accident is not the first of its kind, the town has seen previous incidents where tourists have fallen off the wall.

This story originally appeared in The Guardian. 

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