Seventeen-year-old Hamish Rieger has been remembered as a "great young kid" who "lived life to the max".
Hamish was with a group of friends on Leisure Island last night when he was swept off a rock out to sea.
His body was found by searchers about midday today.
Read more: Teenager missing at sea in Mt Maunganui Body found in search for missing teen at Mt Maunganui
Family spokesman Jamie Troughton said Hamish was an integral part of the Mount Maunganui Surf Club along with his parents and three siblings.
"He's a great young kid," he said. "He was a unique kid. No one had a bad thing to say about him.
"He just wanted to live life to the max every day."
Yesterday he worked a full shift as a lifeguard at Mount Maunganui and helped treat a 5-year-old who had been stung by a bluebottle jellyfish.
Hamish would have been in Year 13 at Mount Maunganui College this year.
Between 120 and 150 surf club members took part in the search for Hamish last night and this morning.