A Brazilian state environmental secretary has plunged into the polluted waters of Guanabara Bay as part of a televised stunt meant to assuage worries about health risks faced by sailors competing in the 2016 Olympics.
The secretariat confirmed on Monday it was indeed Andrea Correa, Rio de Janeiro State’s top environmental official, who dived into the bay for “Fantastico,” a programme broadcast a day earlier on the Globo television network.
Footage showed the fully clothed secretary leaping off the stern of a boat, taking a few strokes and holding up a handful of water to the cameras. “You can swim here just like in Ipanema or Barra,” Correa said from within the water, referring to two Rio beaches favored by bathers.
The “Fantastico” episode stressed that Correa selected both the time and place of his plunge, saying that the official chose to swim at high tide, when clean ocean water is sucked into the bay, at a spot near the mouth of the bay with the biggest inflow.