A woman who went missing two years ago was found floating alive off the coast of Colombia by a baffled fisherman. Angelica Gaitan, 46, was pulled from the water by fisherman Rolando Visbal, who at first thought he had spotted a log. The woman was apparently trying to take her own life and was spotted floating on the waters by Visbal.
The first words uttered by the woman after the rescue was reportedly: "I was born again, God did not want me to die." Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Gaitan's disappearance and rescue. The video of the dramatic rescue has since gone viral.
Visbal first spotted Gaitan while floating 1.2 miles off of the town of Puerto Colombia on the Atlantic side of the country at around 6 am on Saturday. The video footage shot by Visbal shows him and a friend, Gustavo, maneuvering their vessel toward Gaitan, who appears unresponsive.
In fact, they initially mistook Gaitan for a piece of log until she raised her hands to signal for help. However, she had already spent eight hours in the sea by that time and was unresponsive. She was then brought ashore where locals tended to her before she was taken to hospital.
The video also shows the brave duo trying to get the waterlogged woman's attention by calling out in both Spanish and English. However, Gaitan was too weak to reply. Further attempts to make conversation and give her water backfired as Gaitan burst into tears on camera, apparently overcome with emotion over her terrifying ordeal.
Visbal and Gustavo made a heroic effort to bring Gaitan back to shore and give her a second life and the woman said that she will be ever grateful to them. However, once Gaitan regained consciousness her back story came to light. It's reported that Gaitan actually tried to take her own life is said to be showing signs of hypothermia from her ordeal.
Her Tragic Story
The woman had apparently fallen out of touch with her family two years ago, and they had no idea where she was until now. Gaitan said that she had been cut off from her family and friends by her abusive ex-husband, who 'violated' her for a period of 20 years.
"The abuse began in the first pregnancy. He beat me, he violently abused me," Gaitan revealed in the shocking interview to RCN radio. "In my second pregnancy, the abuse continued and I could not get away from him because the girls were small." Gaitan even made a police complaint but the abuser was detained only for a few hours and then came back and started assaulting her again.
The tipping point came in September 2018 when, according to Gaitan, her partner broke her face and tried to kill her. Unable to bear the sufferings, Gaitan ran away and ended up staying in Barranquilla for six months. An eventual attempt to seek help at a homeless shelter failed and she fell into a deep depression.
The depression led her to take her life and she jumped into the sea in a bid to take her own life. However, fate had some other plans and even after staying afloat for over eight hours, she was miraculously rescued. However, mystery continues to surround exactly what happened over the two years after she fled home to escape domestic abuse at the hands of her partner disputed by her daughter. According to La Libertad, her family says they last heard from her in 2018 when she left to go to Ecuador to live with her brother.
The paper also reports that Gaitan claims she was abandoned by her family after suffering domestic violence. Local media tracked down the woman's daughter Alejandra Castiblanco who said she had not known about her mum's whereabouts for the past two years. Police have launched an investigation to know more about what happened over these two years.