Brazilian Model Caroline Bittencourt, 37, Drowns After Jumping in the Ocean to Save Her Dogs

The 37-year-old model jumped into the ocean during a storm in an attempt to rescue her pets

Brazilian model Caroline Bittencourt died in São Paulo on Sunday after she drowned in an attempt to rescue her dogs who fell out of the sailboat she was on with her husband, Jorge Sestini. She was 37.

According to TMZ, the devastating accident happened after a storm hit the couple's boat and left their catamaran in rough waters, causing their two dogs to fall out. Bittencourt jumped in the water after her pets. Directly after, Sestini dove in to save his wife.

Caroline Bittencourt

A few hours later, Sestini was found alive and brought to safety while his wife remained missing.

On Monday, it was confirmed that the model's body was discovered near Cigarras Beach in São Paulo.

Her 17-year-old daughter, Isabelle Bittencourt, took to Instagram to confirm her mother's sudden death and also thanked everyone for the support her family has been receiving. "We are grateful for the support and affectionate messages we have received from Carol's friends and fans. This energy drive fills our hearts with so much love," she wrote.

Her modeling agency, OXYgen Models, expressed their sympathy in the following statement to Globo: "We are grateful for all the trust she has placed in us in these years of work and partnership, our condolences to the friends and family of the victim."

A long time model, Bittencourt has worked for high-fashion designers including Valentino Garavani and Roberto Cavalli. She also made appearances on RedeTV! and RecordTV — two of the major Brazilian television networks.

The passing of Bittencourt marks the second model death in Brazil in less than week. Over the weekend, 26-year-old runway model Tao Soares died after collapsing on catwalk.

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