U.S. surfer drowns at Playa Maderas

U.S. Embassy confirms Aguayo's death

(posted Feb. 13, 5:45 p.m.)- The U.S. Embassy has confirmed that a U.S. surfer identified as Phillipe Aguayo, 22, of Santa Monica, California, drown Monday morning while surfing the famous wave at Nicaragua’s Playa Maderas.

Aguayo was reportedly staying at the “Los tres Hermanos” hostel, 6 kilometers north of San Juan del Sur, according to the daily El Nuevo Diario.

According to police comments to El Nuevo Diario, Aguayo was probably knocked unconscious by his own board and drown. His body washed ashore, still attached to his board by the ankle strap. It was not clear if Aguayo was surfing alone.

He had reportedly arrived in Nicaragua Sunday afternoon crossing the border from Honduras.

Police have reportedly taken Aguayo’s body to the Legal Medical Institute in Managua.

  • eva aguayo fuentes


    • eva aguayo fuentes


    • Stephanie (Aguayo-Fuentes) Grant

      Words can’t express my feelings, such a fun, bright, young man but he goes with a life full of amazing momments and adventures in what he loved to do best. RIP Primito Phili

      Mi más sentido pésame a la familia, Tio Lorenzo, (soy la nieta de Eva). Lo siento por una trágica pero especial pérdida, Philipe que siempre le echará y en nuestros corazones. Si lágrimas podrían construir una escalera, quiero caminar derecho hasta el cielo y traemos en casa nuevamente. No es cuánto Vives, su cómo lo increíble vivido.

      Tu prima- Esteffi <3 xoxo

  • julie west

    Such a tragic loss for his family. God Bless – Love and strength to the Aguyao family.

  • Eva Dougharity

    So sorry ! My prayers go out to the family.

  • http://playaroca.com No Basura

    I would have to assume he was surfing by his self or his body and board would probably not washed ashore to be found by others later. Is a GREAT example why NOT to surf or scuba dive, snorkel, hike or even swim without a “buddy” along. Shit happens and most can be prevented if…

    • JGN

      eh f-you brother, No Basura. Even if this could have been prevented and what not, think of the mourning family and friends who are going to inevitably look up this article to find more information on their fallen compadre, and see your silly unsympathetic comment. I am one of said friends of the deceased and most definitely think that the energy you put into that comment could have been put to something a helluva lot more productive. Thanks. Phillipe was 100x the man I’m sure you could ever feign to be, and the loss of his life, and anyones for that matter is a tragic situation that is not the type of thing to generalize information about to prove a point.


      • Garrett

        Phillipe you are legend, a true soul surfer chasing the dream! And @ No Basura you can take your stupid comment elsewhere this was a man you know obviously nothing about…rest in peace my brother!

        • JGN

          Amen Garrett.
          He will be forever missed.

    • Pru

      My son lives near Maderas. He said that two other surfers were in the water at the time of this tragic drowning. Others were watching the surfers from the balcony of the restaurant/hostel. When a board was spotted trying to come into shore they knew someone had to be attached to it to prevent it from beaching. The two brothers from the hostel swam out and brought him into shore. They got a sheet from the hotel and wrapped his body. After the police finally came, my son helped to load Phillipes body into the back of the pickup. My symphaty goes out to his family and friends.

  • Julie West

    Well said, JGN, Well said. No Basura – maybe you could use your typing skills to google the word “Compassion”.

  • Marcie

    Peace to the soul surfer….NO Basura….share love, not garbage!

    Love to the family, friends, the people, Phillipe’s life, soul and heart has touched.


  • Victoria

    Shhhhh”no basura” you don’t know who your talking about. Phillipe you were the best and your friends and family couldn’t ask have ask for a better soul. I wish your family the best of luck getting … You back here. We all love you soo much, I hope my D kitty is up there sleeping with you again like he used to love so much. We all love you Phillipe and forever will

  • Lana Mitchell

    I was on Madera that morning. I ate breakfast with Phillipe, drank coffee with him, and watched the surf together before he went out and joined THREE or FOUR other surfers. It was a rather mellow swell and nothing appeared dangerous about the water. In fact, he had been scoping out his spot since he arrived in Madera. I was at the edge of the water chatting with one of the owners of Tres Hermanos when he noticed an empty board. He brought it to my attention then immediately ran into the water sensing that something was wrong. At that point two other men who were surfing and already in the water were rushing to help. The three of them brought Phillipe out of the water and into the beach. HE WAS NOT WASHED UP ON SHORE. He was laid out on the shore and was immediately cared for and recieved CPR from an Irish woman (who has experience with CPR) who was assisted by an American Dive Master. Time was all a blur and I cannot recall how long it was that they tried to recussitate him, but it seemed like an eternity – everyone was doing all they could. Before Phillipe was even laid on the beach there was blood coming from his mouth.
    Actually, Phillipe had arrived in San Juan del Sur on Saturday night from the east coast of Nicaragua. I had met Phillipe in El Salvador the first week of January and ran into him again on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua where we stayed at the same hostel. It was not even a week later when we met up again in San Juan.
    I hope to get in contact with those who loved Phillipe at which time I can share more.
    I am terribly grieved by what happened and I send all my condolences.
    I am so sorry.

    • Maria Aguayo

      Thank you for your writing about Phillipe, our Prince as we are coming to know him. The morning’s events recounted by someone that was present and knew and cared for him brings a lot of peace of mind. We have all been concerned that was handled with care immediately. This knowing has settled my heartache that ached to know what occurred. And that it was with the respect he deserved for his most loving of gentle spirit. I imagine even then angels were watching.
      Maria Yolanda Aguayo, Phillipe’s aunt.

    • Ryan Newman

      Lana, your comments are exactly correct.

      I also would like to give more detail to his family. They can email me at ryan@newmanity.net.

    • chris

      This is the true account of what had happened, his body WAS NOT washed up on shore. Surfers in the water rushed to help him as soon as they realized. Many people tried to help but unfortunatly without an AED device and hour long waits for emergency personnel there is very little that can be done in situations like this.
      There was a large ceremony that night to honor his memory
      It was a very sad incident

  • Victoria

    My husband and I met Philllipe Sunday on the way up to playa maderas. Six of us sat in the back of a truck and exchanged silly stories, laughs, good times. We surfed with him a bit and he explained to me the cold water currents and why the water was so damn cold:) we ran into him again at the cafe on the beach before we headed out. He said he was staying in a hammock at the hostle right there on the beach and complained about the waves not being big enough:) The next afternoon when we went back up to playa maderas we found out about the accident. Theres always a decent size group out there and I know that when he was out surfing there was at least 2 other guys out. Someone saw his board floating by itself and paddled out and found him..we got this information first hand from the boy that found him. He didn’t wash up on shore like was said. He had no pulse when pulled out. At least two ppl tried to resesitate him for over an hour. They held a ceremony that night as the sun set on the beach before we left. Almost everyone on the beach stopped what they were doing, surfers got out the water, all to observe the ceremony. Someone brought beautiful flowers down and candles, some dressed up. A group of about 40 held hands and hands, a had a long moment of silence for him. The flowers were let out into the ocean for him. I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. We didn’t really get to know him well but he had a bright smile and a very kind and innocent demeanor about him. A very sweet guy. He seemed like a very happy person. The friends he had made and was traveling with him at the time told me that, the night before the accident they sat on the beach and had a Bon fire and all just really bonded and had an amazing fun night together. They all seemed like really awesome ppl and were very upset about his death. The family is truly in our prayers and we will always remember him.
    Our love to all that will miss him.
    Victoria ( and Travis) Smith
    Samara CR

    • Julie West

      Such a tragedy – but how wonderful that people came together there – to show such compassion and love. This must be a comfort to those who knew and loved this beautiful young man.

  • Lana Mitchell
    • Julie West

      Lana – Bless you for writing this.

    • Chris Barka

      Thank you Lana means alot Love you Phill Miss you forever know your watching my back

    • Maria

      Thank you for taking the time to write and share this. I know it will mean so much to his family. He was exactly the sweet kind spirit you describe :)

    • John Olsen

      Dear Lana,
      I wanted to reach out to you to thank you for taking the time to share your travels with Phillipe with the rest us. Phillipe was one of a kind and will be missed by everyone who ever knew him. He was a true gem. I am Phillipe’s Uncle ( his mothers brother) and I wanted you to know just how much sharing your story with us and everyone means to his family.
      I am so glad Phillipe was able to touch your life like he has touched all of ours for many years. Thank you so much!!!!!
      We miss you Phillipe!!!! You will live on in our hearts forever.
      Love Uncle John

  • Craig Redemske

    We saw the ceremony at about 6:00 on Madera, very beautiful. My sympathies to the family.

  • Ryan Newman

    I was on the beach on Monday and was one of the people who pulled Phillipe out of the water and gave him CPR along with another girl. The reports seem to say he hit his head on the board, but he didn’t have any cuts that would indicate he hit his board or any rocks. The surf was very fast that morning and the tide low, the water quite shallow. I suspect he had a bad wipe-out and went head first into the sand. Just a one in a million piece of bad luck. I’m so sorry about what happened, and just wish we were able to save him.

  • Ben Steele

    I have grown up with philipe since we were little kids i was his neighbor. as we grew up i have surfed with him time and time again. He is great person always outgoing and wearing a smile on his face. always one of the most adventerous out of my friends. When i heard about his trip it wasnt suprising that he was the first of our group to spead his wings and go explore. i was so happy and couldnt wait to hear his stories. His friends back home miss him tons and will never forget the impact he had on our lives. We send our condolences to his family. Remember forever phillipe!

  • John
  • http://httpbeachdeathandthesurferdied.com antonia aguayo

    i dont care about your coments yo didnt love him as i diid and you wlii never miss him so much as i because i didnt know jim

  • http://httpbeachdeathandthesurferdied.com antonia aguayo

    no i am really sorry for youre lost im sorry for making a joke of it i have lost a very dear person in my life and i am still very sad i am so sorry you dont know how sorry i am

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