Friends continue search for missing Wellington kayaker Koyren Campbell

Friends continue search for missing Wellington kayaker Koyren Campbell

The family and friends of missing kayaker Koyren Campbell are continuing the search for him, even after police called theirs off.

On Friday, police said they have stopped the search for Campbell as they believe he's no longer alive. But the 22-year-old's friends haven't given up hope.

Campbell's boss David Downer is at the helm of the search, which will start on Saturday morning.

"If you are competent at riding a jet ski or boat we would appreciate any help in helping us to find our brother Koyren, so we can bring him home," he wrote on Facebook.

Downer described Campbell as "a wonderful young lad, and a very hard worker with a great sense of humour".

The young man disappeared on Sunday 17 January after he failed to return from a fishing trip off the coast of Wellington.

His red kayak was found floating in the water with a fresh catch still inside it but the young man was nowhere to be found.

Police launched an intensive search and rescue mission, scouring the skies, ocean and land for any sign of Campbell.  Two days later police dive teams recovered items of his clothing on the sea bed, and two days after that they made the difficult decision to stop the search.

Campbell's family say they are "devastated" by the loss.

"Koyren Campbell was a young man who made the most of every day," they said via a police statement on Friday.

"He was a wonderful person with plenty of plans for his future alongside his girlfriend of four years."

They say although his body has not been recovered, they remain hopeful for "the sea and the tide to return him".