In a survival saga for the ages, a Colombian woman who fell from the net two years ago was miraculously discovered alive at sea by stunned fishermen. Video of his dramatic rescue has since gone viral online.
“Thank goodness I was alive,” said Angelica Gaitan, 46, who was found by Roland Visbal on Saturday while floating 2 km off Puerto Colombia.
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In the stunning footage taken by his rescuer, Visbal and a friend named Gustavo can be seen maneuvering their ship towards the suspended woman, who appears unresponsive. In fact, they initially mistook Gaitan for a piece of driftwood until she raised her hands to ask for help, The Sun reported.
The valiant duo are heard in the clip trying to get the attention of the waterlogged woman by calling in both Spanish and English. Unfortunately, Gaitan is unable to respond, with subsequent reports indicating that she was suffering from exhaustion and hypothermia, after being adrift for eight hours.
The couple eventually managed, with some difficulty, to retrieve the castaway from the water using a rope attached to a life jacket they had thrown at him. The Sun reported that the victim’s first words after being rescued were, “I was born again. God didn’t want me to die.
Further attempts at conversation and giving him water backfired as Gaitan burst into tears in front of the camera, seemingly overwhelmed by the emotion of his terrible ordeal.
Fortunately, the heroic fishermen managed to bring the survivor ashore, where she was reportedly cared for by kind locals before being taken to hospital.
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After Gaitan was identified, her sad story was revealed. In fact, the wanderer had fallen out of contact with her family two years ago, and they had no idea where she was until now.
She later told RCN radio that the predicament was the culmination of 20 years of domestic violence she said she suffered at the hands of her partner.
“The abuse started during the first pregnancy. He beat me, he violently mistreated me, ”Gaitan revealed in the shocking interview. “During my second pregnancy, the abuse continued and I couldn’t get away from him because the girls were small.”
Unfortunately, although Gaitan reportedly reported the incidents, police only detained the assailant for 24 hours, after which he returned home and resumed assaulting him, The Mirror reported.
The tipping point came in September 2018 when, according to Gaitan, his partner “broke my face and tried to kill me.” Unable to endure her situation, the distraught woman fled and ended up staying in Barranquilla for six months. A possible attempt to seek help at a homeless shelter failed and she fell into a deep depression.
“I didn’t want to go on with my life,” said Gaitan, who then took a bus to the beach and “decided to jump into the sea”. The survivor said she remembers shortly after this moment since she fell unconscious.
Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Gaitan’s disappearance and rescue.
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Local media have since located Gaitan’s daughter, Alejandra Castiblanco, who, along with her sister, is currently fundraising to move Gaitan to their home in Bogotá.