Mystery as woman 'missing for two years' found alive in sea by fisherman

Ms Gaitán’s family contest her claims

Rory Sullivan
Wednesday 30 September 2020 13:50
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Colombian woman reported missing two years ago found alive at sea

A woman declared missing by her family two years ago was rescued after being spotted floating in the sea off the northern coast of Colombia last week.

Angélica Gaitán was found in the sea more than one mile away from the port town of Puerto Colombia, before being brought to shore to receive medical treatment.

Her rescuers had originally mistaken her for a floating log until she raised her hands to gesture for help, according to the local paper La Libertad

Footage filmed by Rolando Visbal, a fisherman who was one of her rescuers, shows Ms Gaitán being pulled into a boat and later being helped into a chair on a beach.

In the clip which was reportedly shot on Saturday, she seems to fall in and out of consciousness.

Ms Gaitán later told Colombian radio that she was discovered “unconscious, floating” in the sea by Mr Visbal and his friend.

“Thank God I was alive, and he threw me a life-preserver. They brought me to a health center where I am receiving the necessary care,” she added.

 Ms Gaitán alleges that she fled her home in 2018 after being abused for years by her ex-husband, a version of events her family contests. In an interview with RCN Radio Barranquilla, they said she had left unannounced while suffering from mental health issues.

Ms Gaitán told Colombian media that she had thrown herself in the sea after being made to leave a refuge where she had been staying, adding that she had spent eight hours in the water before she was saved.

Additional reporting from AP

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