Baton Rouge teen missing after going overboard in Bahamas, officials say
NASSAU, Bahamas (WAFB) - The U.S. Coast Guard has called off the search on Friday night after a former U-High baseball player went overboard while on a graduation boating excursion Wednesday evening, May 24, in the Bahamas.
Witnesses said it appears Cameron Robbins, 18, who graduated from University Laboratory School (U-High) in Baton Rouge just days ago, was acting on a dare when he jumped overboard. Video taken immediately afterwards shows Robbins splashing in the water, a few feet from the boat. He then disappeared, witnesses said.
University Lab School Director Kevin George said Robbins attended the school for all 13 years of his education. George released the following statement:
“The University Lab School Community is praying for the best possible outcome of this situation. I have been in touch with Cameron’s family and at this time, authorities are still searching for him in the Bahamas. 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. Extra counselors will be available on campus to speak with students and faculty who are struggling to process this news. Our thoughts are with the Robbins family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts as well.”
Students from multiple Baton Rouge high schools were on the boat at the time, including students from U-High, Episcopal, Catholic, and St. Joseph’s Academy, a parent familiar with the situation said.
All of the students were on a graduation trip and staying at Atlantis Paradise Island in Nassau, the parent said.
The boat, designed to look like a pirate ship, remained in the area for multiple hours as crews unsuccessfully tried to find Robbins, a witness said.
Robbins and other students from U-High had just arrived in the Bahamas about four hours before they went on the boating excursion.
The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed crews were helping the Royal Bahamas Defense Force search for a missing U.S. citizen who had fallen overboard from a sunset cruise. But as of Friday, May 26, they have called off the search.
“U.S. 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,” said Lt. Cmdr. John W. Beal, Seventh Coast Guard District public affairs officer. “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.”
A family friend posted online that a U.S. lawmaker helped to arrange for more helicopters and other aircraft to join in the search for Robbins “as well as trying to get emergency passports for the parents.”
“Please storm Heaven with prayers and contact your prayer warriors,” the post stated.
U-High baseball coach Justin Morgan issued the following statement:
“Cameron is a kid who is truly loved by his teammates, teachers, and fellow classmates. He is a fierce competitor on the baseball field. He is a hard worker both on and off of the playing field. Our school community is struggling right now but hoping for the very best. Our thoughts and prayers have been and will remain with the Robbins family during this difficult time.”
A family friend said the teen’s parents arrived in Nassau Thursday afternoon.
A prayer vigil was held on the resort’s property Thursday.
Istours, the group that organized the graduation trip for Cameron Robbins and others on the trip, released the following statement:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Robbins Family during this incredibly difficult time. Out of respect for the Robbins family’s privacy, we feel it’s inappropriate to comment on the details surrounding the night of the incident. Bahamian Authorities have been conducting a thorough investigation of the incident and can provide the most accurate information once they have completed their investigation.
The family released the following statement:
The Bahamas government has called off the rescue for Cameron and we are returning to Baton Rouge. We want to thank the Bahamas government, the US Coast Guard, the United Cajun Navy, and Congressman Garrett Graves for everything they have done for us. In this time of grief we thank our family, friends and well wishers for granting us the privacy we need to properly remember our son and mourn his loss.
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