Search: Missing North Shore Shaper/Surfer Joaquin Velilla

UPDATE: According to a KGMB9 report out of Honolulu, “The Honolulu Fire Department plans to call off the search for a missing North Shore surfer at sunset on Sunday unless new evidence is found. Joaquin Velilla was last seen surfing at Pipeline on Thursday.”
Original story below.–Ed

Tuesday, January 16…..

Warning flags were still posted along North Shore beaches, 5 days
after 35-year old shaper/surfer Joaquin Velilla was reported missing
after a late afternoon surf at Pipeline last week, Thursday. The
land, sea and air search covered waters extending five miles out from
the coast, stretching from Kaena Point east to Kawela Bay, just north
of Velzy Land. The Coast Guard and Fire Department called off their
portion of the search over the weekend after divers had exhausted
their efforts in attempting to locate Velilla’s body in the immediate
Pipeline reef area. High surf and currents continued into this new
week with all life-guards keeping an attentive eye out along the
immediate stretch of the North Shore. Joaquin Velilla – originally
from Puerto Rico – was a well known shaper on O’ahu. At present time
members of his family have flown in to continue their own search and
support. – Bernie Baker

U.S. COAST GUARD, Honolulu Fire Department rescue teams, North Shore
lifeguards, surfers and friends continued to search North Shore
coastal waters and beaches this weekend, from Kaena Point to Kawela
Bay, after 35 year old surfboard shaper Joaquin Velilla, of Puerto
Rico, disappeared after a late Thursday afternoon-into dusk surf at
the Pipeline.

His girl friend found his car at the Ehukai Beach park
parking lot around 10 p.m. and his board had been found near
Pipeline that same evening. Search and rescue teams were still
combing the shoreline and waters up to five miles out, 30 hours later
with no sight of him. The line-up at Pipe was packed with dozens of
body boarders and surfers the evening of Velilla’s disappearance –
biggest sets in the triple-overhead range – shortly after a women’s
body board championship had been completed.

As of Friday night two
swells were still running in the 8′-12′ range, from the west and
north-west, and search teams were still considering their work a
rescue effort, not a recovery. – Bernie Baker