For the second consecutive winter season, Pipeline claimed the life of another surfer. This year it was Puerto Rican surfer/shaper Joaquin Vellilia. The 35-year-old, goofy foot paddled out to macking 10-to 12-foot Pipe at 5 pm on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2006. The Hale’iwa resident was proclaimed missing the next day after Velillilia failed to come home the night before. Velillia’s fianc, 32-year-old Mariela Acosta found his car near ‘Ehukai Beach Park Thursday night. And the Honolulu Fire Department recovered Velillia’s board that same evening from an anonymous surfer.
After three days of extensive searching by the Firefighters, Lifeguards and the Coast Guard from Mokuleia to Kahuku Point, the search for Velillia ended without any resolution. A remembrance for Joaqui Vellilia is scheduled for 4 pm, Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at ‘Ehukai Beac