Brazilian model Caroline Bittencourt leaped into action when her dogs fell off her sailboat ... but, sadly, she drowned while trying to make the rescue.
The deadly accident happened Sunday in Sao Paulo ... where Caroline was on a catamaran with her husband, Jorge Sestini, and their 2 dogs. While out at sea, a huge storm -- with reported winds over 60 mph -- rocked the boat and knocked the pooches off the catamaran into the rough water.
Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.
Bittencourt jumped in after the dogs and her husband soon followed, but he couldn't find her. It's unclear if the dogs were ever found. Sestini was rescued a few hours later and Bittencourt's body was found late Monday near a beach.
Bittencourt's 17-year-old daughter, Isabelle, confirmed the death on social media, saying, "We are grateful for the support and affectionate messages we have received from Carol's friends and fans. This energy drive fills our hearts with so much love."
Bittencourt is the second model to die in Brazil in less than a week. Tales Soares died after collapsing on the catwalk over the weekend during Sao Paulo Fashion Week.