THE father of a young Sydney businessman, missing in the NSW Blue Mountains, paid tribute to his "beloved true star" on Friday as police confirmed the search for Gary Tweddle had become a "recovery operation".
David Tweddle flew from the UK to Australia last week to help the hundreds of emergency service workers search dense bushland for 23-year-old Gary who was last seen leaving a work party at Leura on July 16.
Friends told police he appeared to be in good spirits when he left but later in the evening he phoned a friend to say he was lost in bushland.
Rescue teams have been out at first light every morning since but police conceded on Friday, they did not expect to find Gary alive.
In a post on his Facebook page, David Tweddle said his love for his son - "a true star in all our lives" - was unconditional.
He then made an emotional plea to friends to "waste not one moment, be available and show love at every opportunity".
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