Angelica Gaitan, 46, was discovered unconscious and suffering from hypothermia off the coast of Colombia.
She was found by fisherman Rolando Visbal and a friend floating 1.2 miles off the town of Puerto Colombia on the Atlantic side of the country at about 6 am on Saturday.
It said that her first words after being saved were “I was born again, God did not want me to die.”
She was brought ashore where locals tended to her before she was taken to hospital.
Angelica Gaitan was reunited with her family as she told investigators what had happened to her since vanishing 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, but then with time beginning to run out, 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 call for help.
Rolando told Columbia’s Caracol Radio that they nearly didn’t go out fishing that day after issues with his boat’s engine stalled an earlier trip and he said that if they hadn’t had the problem with the spark plug on Friday, they wouldn’t have gone fishing that day and the woman would be dead at sea.
He said that Gustavo had warned him to be careful with the trunk and he started to turn about 15 degrees to the right, then to his surprise, the trunk moved and he thought it was something supernatural.
Angelica was pulled towards the boat in a lifebuoy that the pair had tossed to her and which she used her last ounce of strength to put on.
The pair tried to have a conversation with her and gave her water.
Rolando said Angelica didn’t say anything when they dragged her on to the deck and she was so frail, he believes she would have drowned if she had spent any longer in the sea and he said, so it turned out that they didn’t catch any fish that day either, but they fished a life and they believe that this was God’s intention.
Mystery continues to surround precisely what happened during that time with her version 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 hurled herself into the sea.
She said that for 20 years she had been in a toxic relationship and that the abuse started in the first pregnancy and that he would beat her and violently abuse her.
She said that in her second pregnancy the abuse continued and she could not get away from him because the girls were small, and that numerous times she would report it, but that the police only took him away for 24 hours and that when he was in the house again, the assaults returned.
She said the day she decided to leave the house was after a vicious attack and that in September 2018 he broke her face and attempted to kill her, but that she managed to flee.
She lived rough in the city of Barranquilla for six months before she sought help and was housed in a shelter, but she was reportedly forced to leave because her partner was no longer living in the city, which sent her into a deep depression.
She said that she didn’t want to continue with her life and that a woman had loaned her money for a ticket and she took the bus straight to the sea.
She said that she just wanted to end everything and that she had no support from anywhere, not even her family because her partner had kept her away from her social circle and that’s why she didn’t want to continue living.
Angelica remembers being on the seashore and finding herself in isolation and decided to jump into the sea.
She said that she just let the sea take her and hoped that the suffering would soon end, but she said that she doesn’t recall much more as she slipped into unconsciousness.
She said that the man who saved me in the middle of the sea told her that she was lifeless and floating and she said that thank God she was alive and that he tossed her a life preserver and then brought her to the health centre where she’s receiving the necessary care.
According to a news outlet, 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’d not known about her mum’s whereabouts for the past two years and that the daughter seemed to nullify Angelica’s story, saying her father had never been abusive to her and that he had never lived in Barranquilla.
She said that they don’t know who attacked her, or how she ended up in the sea and she said that her mother had suffered heart problems for years and that after a heart attack her mental health had deteriorated.
Alejandra Castiblanco and her sister are presently raising money to bring their mum to the capital Bogota where they live and hope she will now be taken care of by family.
Obviously, there’s more to this story than meets the eye, for which we don’t know about at the moment, but for whatever reason, this lady was in the sea, for now, at least, she’s safe and in the hospital being cared for and no doubt, in due course, the two missing years question will eventually be answered.
However, this news is going to get Youtube conspiracy theorists going into overdrive, plus the fact that she vanished for two years to flee a violent partner and now the newspapers print it for everyone to see including the partner.