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Tributes to British woman, 37 and Australian boyfriend who died in horror fall 'while taking selfie'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 13/06/2018 Sophie Williams

a person sitting on a bench with a mountain in the background © Provided by Independent Print Limited Tributes have been paid to a British tourist and her Australian boyfriend who died while 'taking a selfie' at a Portuguese beauty spot.

Louise Benson, 37, and her boyfriend Michael Kearns,33, were found on Tuesday morning at the bottom of a high embankment in Ericeria, around 25 miles from Lisbon.

Authorities say the couple may have fallen from the 100 foot high wall while taking a selfie.

It's thought that they dropped the phone and fell while trying to retrieve it.

Friends of the 37-year-old have paid tribute to the "great soul" who "had a passion for life."

Liz Catchpole wrote: "No words can describe what we have lost. Louise Benson you had a passion for life.

"You will be missed and I will miss you so much."

John Keogh said: "It's can be such a cruel world we live in. R.I.P. Louise Benson yet again another great soul took away from us far too early. My condolences to all the family and loved ones."

Mr Kearn's mother told Perth Now that the couple had been travelling in Portugal and had recently attended a friend's wedding.

They left Australia five months ago to go travelling.

According to reports, Ms Benson worked at a nonprofit marine wildlife conservation organisation in Western Australia. Mr Kearn worked as a fly-in, fly-out worker on Chevron's Wheatstone project in the Pilbara region. 

Their bodies were found by a beach cleaner during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Rui Pereira da Terra, head of the rescue service in Cascais port near Lisbon said that emergency service workers had discovered a mobile phone on the wall.

He told AFP: 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 trying to retrieve it."

Many locals have complained about the wall in the past according to a report in the Telegraph.

Australia's foreign affairs department said consular authorities are assisting the family of the Australian victim and co-ordinating with British authorities about the second person.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office told the Standard: "‘We are in touch with local authorities following the death of a British woman in Portugal and are providing support to her family’

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