1050 GMT October 28, 2020
The 46-year-old was discovered by fisherman Rolando Visbal and his friend. She was found around two kilometers away from the shore of Puerto Colombia, ndtv.com reported.
Footage shared by Visbal on Facebook shows him and his friend maneuvering their boat toward an unresponsive Gaitan. In fact, according to the New York Post, they mistook her for a piece of driftwood until she raised her hand to signal for help. Visbal and his friend can be seen pulling Gaitan into the boat. She was exhausted and suffering from hypothermia after staying afloat for more than eight hours.
Her first words after being rescued were reportedly "I was born again, God did not want me to die."
Other videos shared by her rescuers on Facebook show them offering water to her and helping her walk. Locals at the beach tended to Gaitan before she was taken to a hospital.
After Gaitan was identified, her backstory was revealed. She told RCN Radio that she suffered years of domestic abuse and decided to run away in 2018.
She said she decided to "jump into the sea" but does not remember anything after that as she slipped into unconsciousness.
"The man who rescued me in the middle of the sea told me that I was unconscious, floating," she said.
Local media has tracked down Gaitan's daughter, Alejandra Castiblanco, who said she did not know of her mother's whereabouts for the last two years. She also suggested that reports of domestic abuse were false.
Castiblanco and her sister are now raising money to bring their mother to the capital Bogota where she can be "taken care of by family".