Published: May 29, 2010 5:22 AM EDT
Updated: May 28, 2010 11:02 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - It's been almost 24 hours since a Bonita Springs boater went missing.

Fish and Wildlife have stopped searching for the man, but his friends are not giving up. They said they will be back first thing in the morning to keep looking as long as they have to for their friend, 32-year-old Paul Taefi.

"Tomorrow morning we're going to start early. We're all going to be on our jet ski's trying to search the surface of the gulf."

It's been one day since Taefi jumped in the water to help a friend - Mike Wlodyka. Wlodyka was saved by two women who happened to be walking the beach Thursday night.

"He was gasping. He had so much salt water in his mouth."

"The guy was exhausted. He wouldn't have made it."

They never saw Taefi.

Now, his friends are thinking of him and his girlfriend Kristin.

"He would give you the shirt off his back - even if he didn't know you. We're all a local, close group and we wanted to let everyone know that we support him and we're praying for him."

Friends said Taefi is always the life of the party and would do anything for anyone.

"He's my best friend. I don't think we're going to stop until we find him. We owe that to his parents because that's what kind of guy he was to us."

Taefi's friends said he is an experienced boater and even moved down here from Buffalo - just to be near the water.