"He was an amazing worker and had a beautiful heart. He was more of a man and a boy than most men are."
John-Paul Dixon's eyes grew watery as he spoke of the love he had for his nephew, 23-year-old Isaiah Dixon, and his nephew's lifelong friend, 26-year-old Thomas Courto.
The two young men set out in a vessel from the Wynyard Boat Ramp with a third friend - Bree-Anna Thomas - on Monday, but didn't return when they were due.
I'd say 'I love you Froy', and he'd say, 'love you uncle J'. He was a very special boy. He was a very special boy.John-Paul Dixon
A large-scale search operation was launched, and Isaiah Dixon and Bree-Anna Thomas's bodies were found on Wednesday after two days of scouring the coast by air, land and sea.
John-Paul Dixon said his nephew had just come back from a shift at the Savage River Mine before taking his dad's boat out with his friends.
Mr Dixon said he believed they had had a very "beautiful last day".
"They were planning on going out for a bit of a fun day, they had a bit of a swim in front of a waterfall ... sat on the beach, the three of them together on a beautiful day," he said
"Thomas and Isaiah had grown up together since little boys ... Bree was a beautiful girl who fitted in very well."
He said the families had banded together in the wake of the tragedy and while waiting for news on Thomas Courto.
"We've still got a bit to go through there," he said.
"The resolution in that would be great, but I think the resolution's going to come either way. We've talked and accepted what the possibilities are."
He said the boys had been well loved by the community, as well as by their own families.
"Their fathers grew up being best mates, so their sons grew up being best mates as well," he explained.
"Me and Isaiah used to say - I'd say 'I love you Froy', and he'd say, 'love you uncle J'. He was a very special boy. He was a very special boy."
He said the families had been overwhelmed by all the support they had received from police and the general public.
"Honestly I think I cried about 50 times on Tuesday," he said.
"If a person had a boat they were out on the water, if they had a plane they were flying it, if they had a good pair of boots they were out walking."
In the meantime, Inspector Steve Jones said police had plans to continue the search for Mr Courto and the boat on Friday and over the weekend.
He said police had ruled out the possibility of sending more divers out with such poor visibility, but that they had managed to secure a contractor with an underwater sonar surveyor for the coming days.
"At this point we're not concerned about cost ... we're going to make every effort."