Caroline Bittencourt’s husband Jorge Sestini was rescued on Sunday around two hours after jumping into the water to make a failed attempt to save her.
The model’s own dad Orley participated in the search for the 37-year-old and told on TV how he helped pull her body from the sea yesterday afternoon.
Bittencourt, who also worked as a TV presenter, ended up in the sea after trying to save two dogs, according to her friend.
Personal trainer Can Saad, a close friend, said: “She jumped into the sea to save two puppies of hers that had fallen into the water because of the wind.
“She jumped into the sea to save two puppies of hers”
“It was just her, her husband and the puppies on the boat.
“Jorge jumped into the water to try to save her but they became separated from each other because of the storm.
“He had to swim three hours towards the coast to survive.”
The tragedy happened as the couple, who married in January, were near Ilhabela, a large island near Sao Paulo which means “beautiful island” in English.
It is a stunning holiday destination offering visitors around 25 miles of pristine beaches, hiking trails and waterfalls.
Caroline’s agent Andreia Boneti said her husband was in a “state of shock”, adding: “Jorge tried to save her.
“He saw Carol drowning and wasn’t able to save her. It was a terrible moment for him.”
On Sunday night a male model died after collapsing on the catwalk during Sao Paulo’s Fashion Week.
Doctors said afterwards Tales Soares, 26, may have had an undiagnosed congenital illness.
Agency Oxygen Models, who Caroline worked with, said in a statement: “We appreciate all the trust she placed in us in these years of work and partnership.
“Our condolences go to her friends and family. We are in mourning.”
Thanking fans and well-wishers for their messages of support, a statement released by the families of the model and her husband said: “This movement of energy fills our hearts with love.”
Additional reporting by Natalia Penza.