Caroline Bittencourt Dies; Beloved Model & Actress Was 37

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Sad news out of the world of fashion today, as multiple outlets have now confirmed the death of model and actress Caroline Bittencourt.

She was just 37 years old.

Caroline Bittencourt Photo

According to press reports, Bittencourt drowned while sailing on a catamaran off the coast of Portugal.

Accounts differ with regard to the specifics, but witnesses agree she fell from the deck and the crew was unable to rescue her in time.

It was initially reported that Caroline died while attempting to rescue her two dogs who had fallen into the water.

However, her father, Orley Bittencourt, disputes those claims and says that his daughter was simply a victim of rough seas and inclement weather.

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Though Orley was not on the boat, he offered an account from Caroline's husband, Jorge Sestina, who reportedly jumped into the water in an effort to save her:

"Jorge told me a wave hit the side of the boat and the strength of that and strong winds unbalanced Carol and she fell into the water,"Orley Bittencourt, explained in an interview.

"He begged her to remain calm because he was coming to get her.

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"But he could see her disappearing under the water and he couldn't reach her as the storm separated them. He searched for my daughter for more than three hours and lost sight of the boat."

In a statement issued to The Sun, Captain of São Sebastião Port Authority Wagner Goulart de Souza echoed that sentiment, stating:

"We have been informed only two people were on the boat.

"We were not given any indication that Caroline jumped off the boat to rescue one of her dogs after it allegedly fell into the water."

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In addition to her work as a fashion model, Caroline was a popular actress and TV presenter in her native Brazil.

She leaves behind her husband, as well as 17-year-old daughter Isabella, who issued the following statement on Instagram:

"We are grateful for the support and affectionate messages we have received from Carol's friends and fans." 

Our thoughts go out to the Sestini and Bittencourt families during this difficult time.

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