Attributable to Senior Sergeant Dave Houston, Incident Controller:
The search for missing kayaker Koyren Campbell off the Wellington coast has been suspended.
Yesterday, teams finished a grid search of Tarakena Bay.
The decision to suspend a search is never taken lightly, and Mr Campbell's family have been made aware.
It is believed Mr Campbell is no longer alive, and our best efforts to locate him have unfortunately not been successful.
While the search is now suspended, it will be reviewed upon receiving any further relevant information.
We would ask those on the coastline of Wellington and Wairarapa to keep their eyes peeled for any items that may be of interest to search teams, such as a life jacket or kayak paddle.
Issued by the Police Media Centre
Statement from Koyren’s family
Koyren Campbell was 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.
Koyren had a fantastic attitude to living life to the full. Although we do not know the complete facts that led to the tragedy at Tarakena Bay, we know that he was doing what he loved, catching a lot of fish with a bar of chocolate in his pocket. Words cannot express our gratitude to all the people involved with the search.
We would like to thank all those who have helped in the search for Koyren, 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.
We would especially like to thank the volunteers who gave up their time to help search under harrowing circumstances with poor weather, including LandSAR and the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications team, as well as other community members who contributed hugely with the search. We have been made well aware of the efforts that you have gone to and would like to say a big thank you from us all, your time and effort means the world to us.
We would particularly like to acknowledge and thank the Police SAR operation for their efforts to locate Koyren, we cannot find words to express our gratitude. Every possible scenario has been identified and investigated.
We would also like to thank those that have contributed to the Givealittle page for Koyren’s ongoing search efforts, we can assure you every cent will go to this cause. Any funds remaining will be donated to the numerous search and rescue organisations involved.
The outpouring of love and compassion we have received is indescribable. The loss of Koyren has devastated all the people in his life. Koyren has not been located at this time, however we remain hopeful for the sea and tide to return him.
We respectfully ask for privacy at this time of mourning.