Six friends gathered at Old Saybrook Point on Friday to mourn the loss of their close friend and avid fisherman who went missing one week ago.
Two friends of Billy Zadrozny spoke with Channel 3 on Friday who said despite their grief staring at the water where Zadrozny went missing last Friday helps heal their wounds.
"He's the best fisherman I knew, 100 percent, hands down," said Tim Smith, Billy's friend. "Best fisherman."
Smith said his friend loved being near the water.
"He really loved it more than anybody I know."
One week ago, investigators said they found Zadrozny's kayak at the mouth of the Connecticut River in Old Saybrook. Multiple agencies joined in the search to locate the 18 year old, but they said he never turned up.
"It's the worst pain you could ever imagine," said Smith. "It's heartbreaking."
Zadrozny went missing on Friday evening, the Coast Guard suspended the search on Tuesday.
"It's hard to believe I'm still waiting for him to show up," said Kelsey Lebert, Billy's friend. "I'm still hoping for a miracle. I think everyone is."
Even as the friends hope for a miracle, they are standing strong for his family, who have raised thousands for a funeral they hope never happens. His friends said they are touched by the outpouring of support and said it proves that Billy is special.
"It hurts, it's sad we miss him, said Brendan Smith, Billy's friend. "But, I smile a lot just thinking about him. I'm proud to be his friend and I'm glad I had him in my life."
Billy's friends said even amidst their grief, they'll keep staring at the water, knowing that if Billy is out there, he is at peace.
"I think the one thing that makes it easier is that he went out doing what he loved," said Kameron Bohan, Billy's friend. "That's all that matters."
Billy's friends and family are planning a vigil for him slated for Tuesday night, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Saybrook Point.