Brazilian model Caroline Bittencourt died on Sunday, April 28, while aboard a catamaran in Sao Pablo during an unexpected storm, according to several reports. She was 37.
The late model’s 17-year-old daughter, Isabelle, confirmed that her mother passed away in a statement shared on Monday, April 29, via Instagram.
“We are grateful for the support and affectionate messages we have received from Carol’s friends and fans,” Isabelle wrote. “This energy drive fills our hearts with so much love.”
According to Brazilian outlet Globo, Bittencourt’s body was found on Monday near Cigarras Beach after she was blown into the water by 65 mph winds. The TV presenters’ husband, Jorge Sestini, tried to save her, per the outlet, but was rescued in the water by himself after three hours of searching.
Contrary to reports, Bittencourt’s father, Orley, denied that his daughter died trying to save her dogs in the storm.
“It was nothing more than an accident caused by the storm itself, which hit the coast of Sao Paulo on Sunday,” Orley told The Sun on Tuesday, April 30. “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.”
Captain of São Sebastião Port Authority Wagner Goulart de Souz also told The Sun that they have no reason to believe that the dogs were involved.
“Jorge said his wife was swept out to sea after winds of more than 100kmh hit the boat,” the statement read. “It appears that due to the force of the winds and the high seas, Caroline was thrown into the sea. We have no information that she jumped in to rescue her dogs.”
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