Who Is Caroline Bittencourt? New Details On The Model Who Drowned While Trying To Save Her Dogs

A Brazilian model drowned after diving into stormy seas. Was she trying to save her dogs?

Who Is Caroline Bittencourt? New Details On The Model Who Drowned While Trying To Save Her Dogs Instagram

Brazilian model and television personality Caroline Bittencourt has died, according to statement by her daughter. Bittencourt was 37-years-old. The model gained notoriety in 2005 after being asked to leave soccer star Ronaldo’s wedding to Daniella Cicarelli. Bittencourt had a prior relationship with Cicarelli’s ex Joao Paulo Diniz, which caused conflict among all parties. Last weekend, she and her husband Jorge Sestini were sailing off the coast of Sao Paulo, when they ere caught in a storm. The couple wound up in the water, with Sestini searching for his wife for three hours. She was reported missing until her body washed up on the beach. According to the website The Heavy, her modeling agency, OXYGen models issued a statement saying “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.


Who is Caroline Bittencourt? Read on for all the details.

1. Accident

People reports that Bittencourt and her husband Jorge Sestini were out for a sail on their catamaran when the weather took a turn for the worse. Prior to the sudden storm blowing in, Bittencourt had been posting photos to her Instagram feed and giving every indication of enjoying a pleasant outing with her husband. The two got married earlier this year.



A post shared by Caroline Bittencourt (@cabitten) on Feb 26, 2019 at 1:27pm PST

The couple was recently married.

2. Initial reports

The first reports of the tragedy gave a poignant reason for Bittencourt winding up in the angry sea: she was trying to rescue her dogs. People reported that the sudden storm swept her pets off their boat and she immediately jumped into the water to save them. Her husband followed but all were separated by the storm and waves. Sestini was rescued three hours later but Bittencourt remained missing until her body washed up on shore at Cigarras Beach, close to Sao Paulo.



A post shared by Caroline Bittencourt (@cabitten) on Jan 29, 2019 at 12:39pm PST

She leaves behind a daughter.

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3. Family changes the story

The Sun reports that Bittencourt’s father, Orley Bittencourt, appeared on television and corrected the record, saying that his daughter must have been washed overboard by the storm, she had not jumped into the water. He said “[Her husband] Jorge [Sestini] told me a wave hit the sides of the boat and the strength of that and strong winds unbalanced Carol and she fell into the water. Jorge jumped in to help her. He wasn’t able to throw a float or anything towards her because the distance between them was great because the currents took her quickly.” The elder Bittencourt went on to say “He could see Carol and she tried to swim to the boat. He begged her to remain calm because he was coming to get her. 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.”



A post shared by Caroline Bittencourt (@cabitten) on Jan 6, 2019 at 2:59pm PST

Bittencourt loved her dogs.

4. Official report

The Brazilian authorities back up Orley Bittencourt’s account of the tragedy. “Jorge said he was with his wife in Ilhabela at around 4.30 p.m. and decided to sail towards São Sebastião when they were surprised by strong gale-force winds that hit the coast,” Captain of São Sebastião Port Authority Wagner Goulart de Souza told The Sun. He explained further that “Jorge said his wife was swept out to sea after winds of more than 100kmh [62 mph] hit the boat (a 16.5 foot-long catamaran). 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.”



A post shared by Caroline Bittencourt (@cabitten) on Oct 4, 2018 at 4:41pm PDT

She has been a model for many years.

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5. Rescue

Sestini was ultimately rescued by a fellow sailor who was in the area and heard him crying for help as he drifted in the water.  Roberto Tenóriotold reporters “I started looking and saw a hand waving, calling for help. I got close, got him and I put him in my boat. He was very nervous and in a state of shock. He had spent (many) hours adrift looking for his wife and he kept on insisting that he needed to find her. He was in a panic and tired. I carried out a search before returning to the Yacht Club, but we were unable to find her. Jorge told me that they were alone on the boat. I’ve seen media reports that Caroline jumped in the sea to save the dog, but this was not what he told me. It's very sad, a tragedy.”



A post shared by Caroline Bittencourt (@cabitten) on Apr 28, 2019 at 7:05am PDT

Isabella Bittencourt confirmed her mother's death.

Our sympathies are with Caroline Bittencourt’s family at this sad time.


Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.