It was shocking news when a woman who was missing for two years was spotted floating on the ocean.
Rolando Visbal and his friend Gustavo were planning to go fishing near Puerto Colombia on Friday but their boat had some spark plug issues so they decided to get the issue fixed and go out the next morning. But it seemed that it all happened for a reason.
The next morning at 6 am when they were a little over a mile offshore they spotted a person floating on the water. “Gustavo warned me to be careful with the trunk and I began to turn about 15 degrees to the right, then to my surprise, the trunk moved,” Visbal said, ” I thought it was something supernatural.”
The woman was unresponsive as they drew closer and hauled her up onto the boat, and once she was on board she didn’t answer any questions, only cried. After they took her to the hospital, she was diagnosed with hypothermia after being in the water for eight hours.
Who was she?
The woman was Angelica Gaitan, 46, and according to her daughter, Alejandra Castiblanco, she’d been missing for two years. Gaitan said she suffered at the hands of an abusive husband for 20 years. She said he isolated her from family and friends, locking her in the house and forcing her to use the garden as a bathroom.
“The abuse began in the first pregnancy, he beat me, he violently abused me,” she said. “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.”
In 2018, she said he tried to kill her and she managed to escape and took to living on the streets for six months until she found Camino de Fe rescue center. There she experienced more abuse as she was stopped from taking a shower and people putting soap in her drinks. She said when her husband moved, she was no longer protected by the shelter, and the police moved her out.
Then she borrowed money for a bus ticket to the sea, and when she got there, she said she jumped in, hoping to end it all. But nothing happened and she floated for hours, recalling a second close brush with death. “I knew there are many sharks in that area and, I don’t know if in a hallucination I felt that a fin passed very close to me, but it didn’t stop,” she said.
Miracle hand of God
She is happy to be alive and sees it as the mercy of God that the fishermen found her. “I was born again, thank God,” she said. “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.”
Her daughter says the story about her mother being suicidal “due to a past relationship” is a tall tale. Castiblanco says her mother has had a heart condition for years and began experiencing problems with her mental health after a heart attack. She is trying to raise money to get her mother to Bogota, where Castiblanco and her sisters live and can take care of her there.
The real reason behind Gaitan’s journey may never be known, but the fact that she was miraculously saved by the fishermen is nothing short of a miracle. “If we hadn’t had the problem with the spark plug on Friday, we would have gone fishing that day and the woman would be dead at sea,” Visbal said. “So it turns out that I didn’t catch any fish that day either, but I fished a life. I think this was God’s purpose.”
We believe God had a plan for the woman and that he sent the fishermen at the right time and the right place for a purpose- that was to save the woman.