These are the first pictures of a British tourist who died along with her Australian boyfriend when they plunged off a 90ft beach wall while taking a selfie. Louise Benson, 37, and her Australian boyfriend, Michael Kearns, 33, lived in Perth, Australia, and were on a five-month trip when they died on Tuesday morning.
Their bodies were found at Pescadores Beach in Ericeira, Portugal, by fishermen. Rui Pereira da Terra, head of the local rescue force, said: ‘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. ‘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 to grab it and fell.’
Friends have paid tribute to the couple on social media.
Liz Catchpole wrote on Facebook: ‘No words can describe what we have lost. Louise Benson you had a passion for life. Your smiles infectious, your laughs amazing, your friendship invaluable and just the love you have out. ‘In shock and speechless. You will be missed and I will miss you so much. Love you Lou, one in a million. Lou&Mike 4ever.’
Tina Dorant wrote: ‘My fellow ocean warrior. You are an amazing person and will be missed. I can’t believe it still and my heart goes out to your family and friends. RIP Louise Benson. Condolences to your family. I’m shocked and saddened.’
Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias reported that fishermen discovered the couple’s bodies at about 6.30am. ‘At first the fishermen thought the bodies, from far away, might be people sleeping on the beach,’ it said. ‘Only when they got closer did they realize it was a dead couple and they were shocked by what they saw.’