A 22-strong group of volunteers is heading out in search of missing kayaker Koyren Campbell in Wellington today, despite the official search being called off yesterday.
Campbell's boss has made an emotional vow to be out on the water every day looking for signs of his young employee until he can "come to heart and draw the line".
Emergency services, family and friends have been searching for Koyren Campbell, 22, ever since he failed to return from a fishing trip at noon on Sunday.
Police reported on Friday it was believed Campbell was no longer alive.
Senior Sergeant Dave Houston said teams finished a grid search of Tarakena Bay on Thursday.
"The decision to suspend a search is never taken lightly, and Mr Campbell's family have been made aware," he said.
"It is believed Mr Campbell is no longer alive, and our best efforts to locate him have unfortunately not been successful."
The search for Campbell began when his deserted kayak was found with a fresh catch of fish, but no sign of its occupant.
Over the past week, divers have found clothing items belonging to Campbell on the seabed.
Today, despite the search being called off, a group of volunteers coordinated by Campbell's employer David Downer, from D-Fluff Insulation, have gathered at Moa Point to continue the hunt.
There are five jet skis being used in the search, while other volunteers will be walking the coastline for signs of Campbell.
Downer said he was "gutted" yesterday to hear the search had been called off, and felt it was a couple of days too soon.
"Give it one more crack, that's all we're asking," he said today before their search began.
He told media he was there to "find my work buddy".
"He's out there missing . . . for us it's about: bring him home to his family, bring him home to us."
Complete strangers were taking time out of their lives to come and join the search, which was "just fantastic", Downer said.
"We can't stop 'til we find somebody or something."
If they didn't find Campbell today, they would be back out again tomorrow morning, he said.
"Obviously we have to draw a line at some point. Until I can come to heart and draw that line, at this stage I will be out here every day."
He understood official rescue teams had limited resources and had done what they can, he said.
But he encouraged members of the public to join in the search if they could, whether they could go out and search on the water, or simply provide another pair of eyes to scour the coastline.
"Help us bring Koyren home to his family."
Police have asked people on the Wellington and Wairarapa coastline to continue to look out for any items of interest, such as a lifejacket or kayak paddle.
Te Āti Awa have also placed a rāhui on the area, from Breaker Bay to Moa Point, following the suspension of the search.
There will be an official rahui blessing taking place at midday.
A statement from Campbell's family yesterday described him as a "young man who made the most of every day".
"He absolutely loved the outdoors and was a keen hunter and fisherman.
"He was a wonderful person with plenty of plans for his future alongside his girlfriend of four years."
The statement read that although they did not know all the facts of Campbell's disappearance, they knew he had been doing what he loved "catching a lot of fish with a bar of chocolate in his pocket".
They expressed their gratitude to everyone who had been involved in the search, including the Police Search and Rescue, Maritime and Dive Units, the NZ Navy and Air Force, Westpac Rescue Helicopter, the Nelson Rescue helicopter, the Airport Rescue boats and the Coastguard.