In a saga of survival for centuries, a Colombian woman who fell off the net two years ago was miraculously discovered alive at sea by stunned fishermen. The video of his dramatic rescue went viral online.
“Thank God I was alive,” said Angelica Gaitan, 46, who was found on Saturday by Roland Visbal floating 2 miles off Puerto Colombia.
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In the extraordinary footage shot by his rescuer, Visbal and a friend named Gustavo can be seen maneuvering their ship towards the suspended woman, who seems unresponsive. In fact, they initially mistook Gaitan for a floating piece of wood until she raised her hands to signal help, The Sun reported.
The brave duo is heard in the clip as they try to get the water-drenched woman̵
The two finally managed, with some difficulty, to retrieve the castaway from the water using a rope attached to a life preserver they had thrown at her. The Sun reported that the victim’s first words after she was saved were, “I was born again. God did not want me to die.”
Further attempts to make conversation and give her water backfired as Gaitan burst into tears in front of the camera, seemingly overwhelmed with emotion from her terrifying ordeal.
Fortunately, the heroic fishermen were able to bring the survivor ashore, where she was reportedly cared for by friendly locals before being taken to hospital.
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After Gaitan was identified, her heartbreaking story came to light. Apparently, the tramp had lost contact with his family two years ago and they had no idea where he was until now.
She later told RCN radio that the heartbreaking situation was the culmination of 20 years of domestic abuse she said she suffered at the hands of her partner.
“The abuse started in the first pregnancy. He beat me, he abused me violently, ”Gaitan revealed in the shocking interview. “In my second pregnancy, the abuse continued and I couldn’t get away from him because the girls were small.”
Unfortunately, despite Gaitan reporting the incidents, police arrested the assailant for just 24 hours, after which he returned home and resumed assaulting her, The Mirror reported.
The turning point came in September 2018 when, according to Gaitan, his partner “broke my face and tried to kill me”. Unable to bear her situation anymore, the distraught woman ran away and remained in Barranquilla for six months. Any attempt to seek help at a homeless shelter failed and she fell into a deep depression.
“I didn’t want to continue with my life,” said Gaitan, who later took a bus to the beach and “decided to jump into the sea.” The survivor said she remembers that point shortly thereafter since she became 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 raising funds to move Gaitan to their home in Bogotá.