Interview with Cecilia Volkmer, biologist, April 2013, Porto Alegre

Five years ago, I was working with a team of researchers on a lake. We were in a boat, me and a technician, and he had told me that he couldn’t swim. But the engine stopped, and in order to reach the shores, we only had a rope and an anchor.
I said: ‘‘You just have to throw the anchor and we pull the rope to approach.’’ He was very thin, and the second time he throws the anchor, he falls overboard. I didn’t think it was deep, and I thought he was going to come back up quickly, but he didn’t return, so I came to the conclusion that it was deep. He came back once, but I didn’t manage to catch him. The second time, although I was in jeans, with sneakers and a hat, I threw myself into the water, because I remembered what my uncle had told me, that if you don’t get him before the third time, he is loses his mind. I grabbed him and  I said to him: ‘‘You stay very calm.’’