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The late Eiffel Gilyana, a respected Fitness and Wellness Director at the Jewish Community Alliance, was a well-loved figure within his local Florida community. Known for his expertise in fitness, he had a significant impact on the wellness sector of the local Jewish organisation where he served as the director.

Gilyana was also recognised for his remarkable endurance, proven by his successful 150-mile kayaking voyage from Miami to Key West. His proficiency in kayaking is well-documented, but it was this very sport that led to his recent disappearance, and ultimately, his tragic death.

Gilyana went missing during a canoe surfing trip near St. Augustine Inlet. He was separated from his group on a Saturday morning, and despite the recovery of his canoe, Gilyana was nowhere to be found. The disappearance of the 46-year-old fitness director quickly made headlines, prompting a rigorous search for him.

The Coast Guard took on the task of searching the 350 square miles over the weekend, but the search was called off on Christmas Eve. In their stead, friends, family, and Task Force Hydro-1 continued the search on Monday and Tuesday. The extensive search eventually yielded results, though not the ones everyone was hoping for. Gilyana’s lifeless body was discovered off the Florida coast in the Atlantic Ocean on December 26, around 1 pm.

The cause of Gilyana’s death has been a topic of much discussion since his body was found. The fitness director went missing while kayaking with the Jax Fire Dragons near St. Augustine Inlet. His companions lost sight of him under the challenging conditions that day. The U.S. Coast Guard were quick to initiate a search, but to no avail. The only trace of him was his kayak, found overturned and broken in two. Gilyana’s remains were later found around noon on Tuesday, approximately 7 miles from his last known location. Given the circumstances, it is widely speculated that Gilyana may have tragically drowned.

The news of Gilyana’s death was met with a wave of grief and condolences. His obituary has been shared widely across the internet, with many people paying tribute to him on various social media platforms. He leaves behind a wife and three children, for whom a GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up. The Jewish Community Alliance, where Gilyana worked, extended an invitation to a prayer vigil held on December 25 at Vilano Beach. They called for unity in prayer as they sought comfort and guidance in the wake of Gilyana’s tragic disappearance and subsequent death.

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