At the mouth of the open well, a small group had formed around a Portuguese television personality named Catarina.
Catarina, into the camera: If you are joining us just now, we are live at a music festival where a girl has fallen into a well, and a boy rappelled in after her to save her. The heroism displayed today is just wonderful! Wait, something is happening!
Teresa’s uncle: I see them: they just surfaced. I see them there! Hello! Teresa!
Catarina: The kids have surfaced. They are floating on the water. Let’s move the camera around—can we get a good angle?
Cameraman: There is no angle; we’d have to go down there.
Catarina: Excellent idea; if you are just joining us, we are live at a music festival where we are about to rappel into an old well using the Dülfersitz technique.
Catarina selected an appropriate length of rope.
Catarina: The Dülfersitz technique is known as body rappelling and is the classical, non-mechanical abseiling technique. We put the rope here, then here, around here, and here. Now, friction from my body will slow my descent into the well. And, now for the camera man…
Cameraman: I don’t want to rappel–
Quiet, impassioned whispering commenced off camera. After a moment, Catarina took the camera and aimed it at the cameraman who faithfully followed Catarina’s description of how to wrap the rope around his body in the Dülfersitz technique. Once finished, Catarina returned the camera to the cameraman.
Catarina: And now, we descend!
Catarina walked out over the well hole and dropped into the well. The cameraman immediately followed her. After a moment of wild swinging, the camera again focused on Catarina as she slowly rappelled into the well.
Catarina: If you are joining us just now, we are live at a music festival where a girl has fallen into a well, and a boy heroically jumped in after her. I am a first responder to the scene and will administer first aid as soon as we reach the bottom. See here the opening in the side of the well? There they are near the water. If you are just joining us now, I am about to gracefully swing myself onto the stairway like so. And, now, for the cameraman. Like so. Ta da!
After a few moments of jiggling and awkwardness, the camera again focused on Catarina as she descends the stairs.
Catarina: If you are joining us just now, we are live at a music festival where a hole opened up below a stage and a dancer fell into an old well. A young man jumped into the well after the girl and both are here on the stairway that runs up the inside of the well. I am a first responder to the scene and will administer first aid as necessary.
Catarina: Hello! I am here to help you. Are you OK?
Teresa: Yes, I’m okay. I don’t know what happened. I fell and woke up here. Irene? is… is he dead?
Catarina: If you are just joining us, we are live at a music festival where a boy appears dead at the bottom of a well: he has no pulse; his heart has stopped. I will now administer CPR by first straightening his neck and head like so. Now, I will fill his lungs with air like so.
Catarina breathed into Irene’s mouth.
Catarina: And now I push his chest firmly five times. One, two, three, four, five. And now, I breathe into his lungs again. And, one, two, three, four, five. If you are just joining us, I am live at a music festival–
She paused to breathe into the Irene’s mouth.
Catarina: Where I am administering CPR to an unconscious boy who saved the life of this young lady. What is your name? One, two, three, four, five.
Teresa: Teresa; this is my uncle’s farm.
Catarina: We are live at a music festival in Mem Martins near Lisbon where a–
She paused to breathe into Irene’s mouth.
Catarina: Boy, one, fell, two, into, three, a well, four, and whose, five, heart has stopped.
This went on for some time before an ambulance arrived, a paramedic rappelled into the well and restarted Irene’s heart beating. Once Irene was breathing normally, Catarina sat back and said, into the camera:
Catarina: Well, that was exhausting. We are live at a music festival where Teresa fell into a well and the boy Irene jumped in to save her; the savior needed saving, though, and we are administering first aid to the boy. Teresa, tell me how you are feeling? Are you cold? Do you need another blanket?
And so it was that Teresa and Catarina held an impromptu interview on live television at the bottom of a well. Looking back a few months later, Teresa wished she had hidden her face from the camera, but how could she guess the harm the interview would cause her when her face was broadcast throughout Portugal and the story as picked up and distributed on every network in Europe and the Americas.