Selfie-taking Australian falls to death in Portugal

Blanche Robertson
June 13, 2018

The devastated mother of a Perth man who fell 30m to his death from a cliff will travel to Portugal to make arrangements to bring home her son's body.

Ericeira, a popular surfing spot, is located about 30km northeast of the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

The man and woman reportedly lost their balance while taking photographs of themselves overlooking the coastal town of Ericeria, 30 kilometres from Lisbon, where they fell roughly 30 metres to their death, according to local media.

Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã reported authorities were investigating whether a "selfie" might have been the cause of the accident.

A couple said to be from Australia and the United Kingdom were presumably taking a picture on a 30-meter-high wall overlooking a picturesque beach when they allegedly lost their balance and fell off a cliff in Portugal.

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"It seems that (the victims) might be getting a "selfie", when they let the phone fall, leaned over to grab it and fell", he was quoted as saying. It is believed the incident happened between 1am and 6am on Tuesday local time.

Mr Kearns was a fly-in, fly-out worker on Chevron's Wheatstone project in the Pilbara and was a keen recreational diver in his spare time.

Previous reports suggested they were an Australian couple, but the Department of Foreign Affairs told SBS News it was providing assistance to the family of one Australian who died in Portugal.

It's believed the couple were attempting to take a selfie when they fell off a cliff in the coastal town of Ericeira.

The beach is ringed by cliffs and a 40-metre high wall. "Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment", a DFAT spokesperson said.

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