Veteran yacht Eng. Sean R. Velloza died suddenly on March 11 during a yacht delivery aboard S/Y Melek, a 56m Perini Navi, under way from Antigua to the Mediterranean. He was 43. The cause of his death is unknown.
Born in Mozambique, Mr. Velloza was a Portuguese national and had been based in the Med for the past 15 years. His yachting career included work as engineer onboard M/Y Ariela, S/Y Nashira ll, S/Y Billy Budd, S/Y Blue Papillon, S/Y Galileo and S/Y Serenity C.
"He was a true sailor, very experienced and very talented,"said Stewart Murray, his soon-to-be brother-in-law.
"He was chief engineer most of the time, but was capable of serving as captain. He just didn't like the bureaucracy," Murray said. "His spirit, his soul were in touch with nature."
Mr. Velloza had extensive sailing and racing experience including seven trans-Atlantic crossings and five equatorial crossings. He had worked on sailing and motor yachts in the western and eastern Mediterranean, northern Europe, Indian Ocean, Caribbean, the United States, Red China Sea, Mallaca Straits and Malaysia.
Before yachting, Mr. Velloza was a diver/combat operator for the South African Navy and a commercial diamond diver off Skeleton Coast, West Africa.
He is survived by his fiance, Donna Murray; their 18-month-old son, Luciano; his parents and four siblings.
A memorial is planned for Sunday, April 17, at Le Blue Lady Pub in Antibes, France. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
By Dorie Cox