For two years, Angelica Gaitan was missing after she fled from her abusive husband. But this week, the mother suddenly reappeared in the water off the coast of Colombia nearly dead. She had tried to drown herself and was recovered in a state of hypothermia, clinging to life. Her sudden appearance in the water along the coast of the South American country took her family by surprise because she had not been in contact with them for two years due to her husband’s abusive behavior.
Gaitan was found floating in the water about a mile from the beaches of Puerto Colombia in Atlantico. Because she was found in a state near the point of death, she struggled to identify herself. But when she was able to breathe her name, she told her rescuers that she was Angelica Gaitan and that she had God to thank for her life being saved.
Fisherman Rolando Visbal found Gaitan after she was out at sea for eight hours. her rescue and initial recovery, Gaitan told the news media that she jumped into the ocean to end her life. For twenty years, her ex-husband subjected her to domestic abuse. The abuse was so severe that she lost contact with her family and friends and was driven to suicide.
Visbal initially thought the person in the water was a floating log. Only when he came closer did he realize that Gaitan needed his help. She was waving her hands and trying to get his attention, but he was unable to make that out until he was closer to her position.
The footage shows the moment that Visbal and his friend get close to Gaitan as she floats in the ocean water. The fisherman shouts at the floating woman in Spanish. Then he switches to his second language, English, to see if she would respond to that. He wanted Gaitan to understand him, but she was in such poor shape that she was barely alive.
When Visbal and his friend drag her onto their boat, she remains unresponsive. But it is clear that she is alive because her torso moves with her breath. She also seems to be able to ease her body over the edge of the boat and into the safety of the fishermen’s company.
He tries to converse with her and offer her water, but she breaks down in tears and cries until the end of the video.
Later, after she was checked out at the hospital, Gaitan told the news media that God deserves all the credit for saving her life.
“I was born again, thank God. If I had had an opportunity or help, I would not make that decision. Now I am very grateful because God gave me a new opportunity to move forward,” she said.
Gaitan admitted that her ex-husband would “violently beat” her at all times, even during her two pregnancies.
“The abuse began in the first pregnancy, he beat me, he violently abused me,” she told RCNRadio. “In the second pregnancy, the abuse continued, and I could not get away from him because the girls were small. Many times I reported him, but the police took him for 24 hours, and when he was in the house again, the assaults returned.”
Hopefully, she can fully recover from the trauma of the abuse.