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California woman, 26, dies after getting caught in boat propeller while trying to retrieve sandals from sea

Natalia Andrea Larranaga Fajardo jumped into the sea and was immediately sucked into the boat's propeller causing her to sustain horrific injuries
(Representational picture, Getty Images)
(Representational picture, Getty Images)

SAN ANDRES, COLOMBIA: A 26-year-old woman died after getting caught in a boat propeller after she jumped into the Caribbean Sea to find her sandals. Natalia Andrea Larranaga Fajardo, of California, bled profusely after sustaining grievous wounds to her legs, buttocks and lower back at White Wata Beach in San Andres, Colombia.

The tragic accident took place on November 27 when Fajardo dove into the sea to find her sandals. Onlookers were reportedly screaming in horror as the young woman was fatally struck. The water around her was red with blood as nearby boaters were reportedly yelling, mobile phone footage revealed, according to Daily Mail


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Fajardo was transported by jet ski to a medical facility on the island, where she received numerous blood transfusions and had to undergo surgery to repair her arteries. She also had to be revived by medical personnel after suffering from a cardiac arrest. After the surgeries, she was taken to the intensive care unit, but she died from a second cardiac arrest the next day.

Altogether 24 tourists and two staffers were reportedly on board the boat Fajardo was on. Dimar, Colombia's maritime authority, said in a statement, "The vessel has been immobilised and its two crew members have been placed at the disposal of the relevant authorities by the Coast Guard of the Colombian Navy as part of the due process of investigation." San Andres officials now caution swimmers to steer clear of moving boats and to alert crew if they enter the water.

Juan Carlos Escotet Alviarez, the youngest son of Spanish-Venezuelan billionaire banker Juan Carlos Escotet Rodriguez, recently suffered the same fate in Miami. The 31-year-old had jumped into the water after his fiance, Andrea Montero, had fallen overboard during a fishing competition about six miles east of Ocean Reef Club in north Key Largo in March. He was hit by the boat’s propeller and died from his injuries, while Montero managed to avoid the large blades, she had no idea her fiance had died until an officer informed her back at the harbor at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club. The couple were due to wed in November.