A Colombian woman named Angelica Gaitan, 46, who was missing for two years, has been found floating alive by the sea, off the coast of Colombia. She was unconscious and suffering from hypothermia when she was discovered.
She was rescued by a fisherman Rolando Visbal and a pal floating 1.2 miles off the town of Puerto Colombia on the Atlantic side of the country at around 6am on Saturday.
It reported her first words after being rescued were “I was born again; God did not want me to die.”
Angelica was immediately taken to the hospital when she was brought ashore by local folks before reuniting with her family and she told investigators what had happened to her since disappearing two years ago.
During her time in the sea she stayed afloat for eight hours as sharks circled her as she drifted in and out of consciousness. With the passage of time, she had a miraculous stroke of luck when she was spotted by a fisherman who initially thought she was a log until she waved her hand to summon help. Rolando and a friend known only as Gustavo came across Angelica, who appears to be completely unresponsive.
Rolando told Colombia’s Caracol Radio that they nearly didn’t go out fishing that day after problems with his boat’s engine delayed an earlier trip.
“If we hadn’t had the problem with the spark plug on Friday, we would have gone fishing that day and the woman would be dead at sea,” he said.
“Gustavo warned me to be careful with the trunk and I began to turn about 15 degrees to the right, then to my surprise the trunk moved. I thought it was something supernatural.”
Angelica was dragged towards the boat in a lifebuoy the pair had thrown to her and which she had used her last ounce of energy to put on.
Rolando said Angelica didn’t say anything when they hauled her on to deck and was so weak. He believed she would have drowned if she had spent any longer in the sea.
“So it turns out that I didn’t catch any fish that day either, but I fished a life. I think this was God’s purpose.”
Mystery continues to surround exactly what happened during that time with her account of fleeing domestic abuse at the hands of her partner disputed by her daughter.
Angelica says that after living rough then being forced to leave a refuge, she decided to take her own life and threw herself into the sea.
“For 20 years I had a toxic relationship,” she told RCN radio…“The abuse began in the first pregnancy and continued in the second, He beat me regularly, I could not get away from him because the girls were small.
“Many times I reported it but the police took him away for 24 hours and when he was in the house again, the assaults returned…The day I decided to leave the house was after a brutal assault. In September 2018, he broke my face and tried to kill me. Thank God I managed to escape.”
“I did not want to continue with my life. A lady lent me money for the tickets and I took a bus directly to the sea,” she said…
“I wanted to end everything, I had no help from anywhere not even from my family, because this man kept me away from my social circle, that’s why I didn’t want to continue living.”
Angelica recalls “being on the seashore” and, finding herself “in solitude”, decided to jump into the sea. ‘I let it take me and hoped that this nightmare would soon end,” she said.
“The man who rescued me in the middle of the sea told me that I was unconscious, floating, Thank God I was alive, and he threw me a life preserver. They brought me to a health centre where I am receiving the necessary care.”
According to La Libertad, her family say they last heard from her in 2018 when she left to go to Ecuador to live with her brother.
The paper also reports that Angelica 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.
She said that her mother suffered from heart problems for years and that after a heart attack her mental health had deteriorated. Her daughters are currently raising money to bring their mum to the capital Bogota where they live and hope she will now be “taken care of by family”.