Fitness Instructor Tragically Lost at Sea, Found Dead

The tragic loss of a respected Florida Army veteran, Eiffel Gilyana, 46, who disappeared during a canoe surfing trip over the weekend, has left his community in mourning. Gilyana’s body was discovered off Vilano Beach on Tuesday afternoon, according to close friends.

Gilyana, a cherished figure in his community, was reported missing after a group outing on Saturday morning. His sudden disappearance prompted a wave of grief and shock among his friends and family. A friend expressed their sorrow on a GoFundMe page set up in Gilyana’s honor, which had raised over $70,000 by Wednesday morning.

The Coast Guard initiated a search for Gilyana on Saturday, but the official search was suspended after 48 hours. Despite this, volunteers persisted in their efforts, scouring the waters for any trace of the accomplished fitness instructor and former competitive bodybuilder.

Born in Iraq, Gilyana served as a translator in the US military from 2003 to 2009. He later relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, reportedly to evade potential retaliation from ISIS due to his assistance to US forces.

Gilyana’s canoe was found broken in half off St. Augustine on Saturday. He was not only a seasoned kayaker, having once completed a 150-mile journey from Miami to Key West, but also a dedicated fitness instructor known for his challenging endurance feats.

In addition to his fitness career, Gilyana served as the health coordinator for the local Jewish Community Alliance. The organization recognized his commitment and impressive background in a biography. Adam Chaskin, CEO of the Jewish Community Alliance, expressed his grief over Gilyana’s loss on Tuesday.

Gilyana was more than just a fitness and wellness director at the Jewish Community Alliance, Chaskin said. He was a part of people’s families, and they became a part of his. His warm heart and easy connection with people over the years will be greatly missed.

Gilyana also served as a health and wellness adviser for Task Force Hydro 1, a nonprofit group that works with veterans and emergency workers. His GoFundMe page stated that while his loss will be deeply mourned, his existence, the light he brought to the world, and his legacy of love will be celebrated.