A BRITISH woman and an Australian man who died after they fell 100ft off a beach wall while taking selfies in Portugal have been named as Louise Benson and her partner Michael Kearns.

The pair, who lived in Perth, were taking pictures from a street overlooking the beach when they lost their balance and fell, local media reported.

The incident reportedly happened early Tuesday morning at Pescadores beach in the coastal town of Ericeira, a popular surfing spot about 30 kilometres from Lisbon.

 

Louise Benson died after plunging from a beach wall with partner Michael Kearns. Picture: Facebook
Louise Benson died after plunging from a beach wall with partner Michael Kearns. Picture: Facebook

The bodies of Ms Benson, 37, and Mr Kearns, 33, were found in the sand by a beach cleaner, according to local media.

The couple had been travelling on a five-month holiday before the accident, according to 9 News.

Ms Benson posted a photo to social media just a day before their deaths showing Fisherman's Point in the background - the cliff from which the couple fell.

Mr Kearns worked on Chevron's Wheatstone project in Western Australia and was a keen recreational diver in his spare time, according to PerthNow.

His mother said yesterday the couple had left Australia in January on a holiday and had attended a friend's wedding in Portugal in recent weeks.

 

Michael Kearns lived in Perth. Picture: Facebook
Michael Kearns lived in Perth. Picture: Facebook

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) told news.com.au it was in contact with British authorities regarding the other person who died.

DFAT said it was providing support for the victims' families.

"The Department has been in contact with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office regarding the other person who died in the incident," a DFAT spokeswoman said.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are in touch with local authorities following the death of a British woman in Portugal and are providing support to her family."

 

The couple was found dead early in the morning at a beach in Ericeira. Picture: Supplied
The couple was found dead early in the morning at a beach in Ericeira. Picture: Supplied

Rui Pereira da Terra, the head of the rescue service in Cascais port, near Lisbon, said it appeared the couple was taking a selfie when the tragedy happened.

Emergency workers found a mobile phone on the wall where they were understood to have lost their balance.

"Everything seems to indicate that the fall happened when they were probably trying to take a selfie … It seems they dropped their mobile phone and fell down while leaning over to retrieve it," he told AFP.

The Portuguese Lusa News Agency reported the couple was a woman aged in her 30s and a man in his 40s.

 

The location of the horror incident. Picture: Google Maps
The location of the horror incident. Picture: Google Maps

 

It is believed the incident happened between 1am and 6am on Tuesday local time.

AFP reported this was not the first time tourists have fallen from the wall near the beach, known as Praia dos Pescadores or Fishermans Beach, a popular spot surrounded by cliffs and a 40-metre high wall.

The fishing town of Ericeira is a popular spot for surfers and holiday-makers, and is renowned for its seafood restaurants and night-life.

 

This article originally appeared inThe Sunand has been republished here with permission.


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