Unique, bubbly and friendly — these were the words used to describe marine scientist Matthew Porter after his body was found in the ocean he was so passionate about protecting. A desperate search and rescue ended in tragedy on March 18 at Hearson Cove when the 26-year-old was found dead in the water. The alarm was raised after he failed to attend a work meeting in Karratha, prompting the search by police, marine rescue and the SES. Mr Porter’s vehicle was found parked at Hearson’s, but he was nowhere to be seen. One of Mr Porter’s three brothers, Scott, described him as a supportive younger brother with a cheeky grin and massive dimples. “He was a little bit of a closed book at times. He was a pretty private kind of guy until you got to know him and then he would really open up,” he said. “We were a pretty close-knit bunch. “As an older brother, I used to sort of look out for him and try and guide him and stuff, but he probably didn’t really realise how much support he gave to me. “(He was) just good to be around and hang around.” On his love for the ocean, Mr Porter’s brother said he was a keen swimmer and enjoyed spending time with his friends. “The ocean was probably his biggest passion,” he said. “He also enjoyed hanging out with his friends, going camping, loved his footy and the Eagles, collecting plants. “He was a great swimmer, so when I found out what had happened and that it’s potentially a drowning, it just honestly doesn’t make sense to me. “He had just done the Rotto swim and he would go swimming down at the pool frequently, so he was a strong swimmer. He knows what to do if there was tides and rips.” Scott Porter said friends had organised a vigil at North Beach in Perth for his brother. “Around 50 people turned up. Just to go down there and see how many people’s lives he touched and been involved in sort of gave us comfort to know he was loved by so many people,” he said. “I just feel so sorry for them because they were such a close-knit group. I don’t know how they are going to hold up, to be honest. They are staying incredibly strong and really supporting our family. “I can’t even express in words how much support we’ve had ... locally in Perth, friends and family just getting us through, but also everyone up there. “We had the Indigenous community reach out to us. “Everyone that was helping to search and locate him, we are truly grateful and we are so happy that we actually managed to find his body because I can’t imagine what it would be like if we just didn’t end up finding him, that would just be heartbreaking. “Incredibly thankful for everyone and how quickly everyone reacted when they found out he was missing.” Mr Porter’s family hope to find his phone containing precious photos and memories that was also missing in the Hearson Cove area. A report determining the cause of Mr Porter’s death is being prepared for the Coroner. His funeral will be held on April 8 in Perth.