Determined employer David Downer plans to spend all weekend cruising up and down southern Hawke's Bay and northern Wairarapa coast if that's what it takes to try to find staff member and kayaker Koyren Campbell, missing almost three weeks.
Starting as early as possible on Saturday and using a quadbike, a jetski and a drone, he plans to search from Mataikona (just north of Castlepoint) to Porangahau.
He says as an employer he owes it to the family to bring his worker back so he can be properly farewelled.
Campbell, 22, had been a staff member just eight months and one of 11 staff, but he was part of the "family" of the business and "like a son", Downer said.
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He says he'll keep searching as long as he can, possibly heading south next week if nothing's found this weekend, forever on the lookout for the most likely items to be still afloat – a yellow and blue lifejacket, a white Bunnings trade cap, and an oar.
Campbell had been on a kayaking and fishing day-out off Moa Pt, in Tarakena Bay on Wellington's south coast, on January 17. Only his drifting kayak, with fishing gear, and an item of cloth on the seabed have been found.
A five-day official police search and rescue operation was mounted without sign of the young man. But friends and many others have continued, including workmates, divers, and a hired aircraft, which on Wednesday flew over part of the more southern Wairarapa coast.
The offers of help continue and Downer says he's particularly thankful to coast landowners who are allowing him to cross their properties to the more inaccessible reaches of the coastline, some even offering accommodation during his mission.
Successful or not, Downer says he's already achieved something from the loss of his employee, realising all boaties need to have an emergency locator beacon when out at sea.
"I didn't use to have one. The first thing I did was went out and bought one."
He now believes people should be compelled to have such emergency items, and to be able to be fined or penalised if they don't.