(NY DAILY NEWS) – Authorities and a relieved family are still sorting out what happened to a woman found floating two miles off the coast of Colombia by two fishermen.
Angélica Gaitán, 46, had been missing since 2018 when the fishermen spotted what they thought was a log floating a ways from their boat.
They were astonished when the “log” raised two arms in a call for help as they drew closer and they instead found Gaitán, who had been floating in the ocean since casting herself into the sea in despair eight or 10 hours earlier, reported La Libertad.
One of them started filming to document her rescue. First they shouted out to her, in English and in Spanish, “Are you all right?” But she was too weak to answer, according to accounts.
Painstakingly one of them hauled her aboard and gave her some water, speaking to her in both languages.
“Como te llamas?” he asked, “What’s your name?”
She started crying. Coming ashore, they loaded her into a car and drove her to a hospital.
Doctors told RCN Radio Barranquilla that Gaitán arrived at the hospital barely conscious, with low blood pressure.
Later both she and her family filled in at least some of the gaps, though the accounts did not fully jibe.
Gaitán said she had fled domestic violence at the hands of her partner two years earlier, living first on the street and then in a shelter. When the shelter told her on Friday that she couldn’t live there anymore because her abuser had left the city, she was filled with despair, she said. She went to the seashore and leaped into the ocean.
Her family said she had not been abused and that she had heart and cognitive problems.
Either way, Gaitán was well aware that she has been given a reprieve.
“I’ve been born again, thank God,” she said in Spanish after her rescue, according to RCN Radio Barranquilla. “If I had had help or opportunity, I would not have made this decision. Now I’m extremely grateful because God gave me another chance to move forward.”