Barely a day has passed since April 2 that Trevor Tann has not walked on to Mullalloo beach and wondered what happened to his nephew Martin.
The Tanns will tomorrow spend their first Christmas without their son, brother and nephew, who went missing from the beach eight months ago.
WA police say they are still treating the 24-year-old's disappearance as an active missing persons investigation and are asking people with information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
It is some comfort for a tight-knit family who refuse to give up hope that Martin Tann may still come home.
"It's times like Christmas you feel it," Trevor said. "There's a saying, where there's life there's hope and I guess where there's hope, there's life.
"We only want good closure."
An experienced beachgoer and keen diver who studied marine biology, Martin had been in a jovial mood as he left his uncle's house alone on the day he went missing. About 3.15pm, a kite surfer noticed Martin's unattended bag on the beach about 1km north of the Mullaloo Surf Club.
When the kite surfer returned to shore two hours later he saw the bag still there and told lifesavers. An onlooker later told police he had seen Martin, from Narrabri in NSW, swimming in waist-deep water shortly before he was reported missing.
Martin had been travelling abroad for eight months before returning home for his uncle's wedding, which became something of a major family reunion.
Less than a fortnight later, he disappeared from the beach where the family had spent the previous few days together.
Trevor said the family had considered the possibility Martin could have been the victim of a shark attack, but were not ready to concede any fatal conclusions.
He had not seen anything in his nephew's demeanour to suggest anything was wrong.
"It leaves you wondering, it's the same beach I've been swimming at for 20 years," Trevor said.
"I go there nearly every day, but I obviously know he's not just going to come out of the water after eight months."
Trevor said his elder brother Colin and wife Marie had taken an overseas trip to help deal with the mysterious loss of their son.
"It's been a traumatic year of highs and lows, unbelievably tough for his mum and dad and brother and sister," he said.
"It's hard to describe, but you just have to deal with it and his parents are pretty stoic and pretty realistic, down-to-earth people. We're a close family so you really feel for them."