Cameron Robbins, an 18-year-old from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, went missing on Wednesday while on a pirate-themed party boat during a sunset cruise in the Bahamas after allegedly being dared to jump over the side, triggering a frantic search by two countries to find him.
(Video Credit: NBC News)
Robbins was celebrating his high school graduation from the University Laboratory School just days earlier. He was reportedly on the trip to the Bahamas with students from several local high schools, including U-High, Episcopal, Catholic, and St. Joseph’s Academy, and was staying at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in Nassau, according to WAFB.
Witnesses say that the incident occurred at approximately 9:40 pm on Wednesday. Robbins, allegedly acting on a dare, jumped off the ship into the ocean near Athol Island, a popular snorkeling location. Video on Snapchat reportedly shows him swimming in the dark waters off the island, a few feet from the boat before he simply vanished. A life preserver can be seen floating nearby.
The party boat remained in the area for several hours as crew members attempted to locate the teen.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force, assisted by the US Coast Guard Southeast, has been conducting a search for Robbins from the air. So far, they have found nothing.
#Update: @USCG air crews continue to assist @TheRBDF and @RBPFPolice in search efforts for Cameron Robbins. For more case information please contact RBDF at 242-362-3700 or RBPF at 242-322-4444. #SAR
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) May 25, 2023
The teen attended the prep school for the entirety of his education and was a pitcher on the school’s baseball team, according to University Lab School Director Kevin George. His younger sister is a junior at the prep school.
Robbins is in great shape and reportedly very strong.
“He’s an athlete, great kid, great smile, great head of hair,” George told WBRZ in an interview. “Just one of the kids you’re so proud of when they cross the stage.”
The principal released a statement saying that the entire school was praying for Robbins to be found safe and unharmed.
“I have been in touch with Cameron’s family and at this time, authorities are still searching for him in the Bahamas,” George noted. “In times like these, we must come together and support each other. Words fall short of expressing the worry our entire school community is feeling.”
18 year old Louisiana teen is missing after he was dared to jump overboard on Bahamas sunset cruise pic.twitter.com/IIr58DrxWF
— MiddleManMedia (@middlemanmediaa) May 27, 2023
The teen’s parents arrived in the Bahamas on Thursday and attended a prayer vigil for their son at the resort. That same day, a prayer circle for Robbins was held outside his former school in Baton Rouge.
As the days draw on, it seems less and less likely that Robbins will be found alive. The US Coast Guard called off the search Friday night for the teen.
“US Coast Guard District Seven deployed multiple search and rescue assets in response to an agency assistance request from our partners in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. Our Coast Guard command center and aircrews based in Miami supported RBDF SAR efforts since the initial report late Wednesday evening, and continued through Friday evening,” Lt. Cmdr. John W. Beal, Seventh Coast Guard District public affairs officer, sadly announced according to WAFB. “We were informed by the RBDF this evening that they were suspending the active search efforts pending further developments, and were not requesting further Coast Guard assistance after notifying the Robbins family. We offer our sincerest condolences to Cameron Robbins’ family and friends.”
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