Parents of Cameron Robbins pay tribute to ‘intense and driven’ son, 18
Cameron Robbins’ devastated parents paid tribute to their ‘intense and driven’ son, who disappeared last month after jumping off a Bahamas party boat into shark infested waters.
Speaking the day before a memorial for the 18-year-old, William and Shari Robbins, both 54, said they ‘appreciate’ the tributes being paid to their son.
The couple described the high school baseball star as ‘funny and kind-hearted’ and ‘intense and driven’ to the New York Post.
‘We are just mourning our son right now,’ Shari said. ‘We appreciate everyone’s support,’ added William.
Robbins, pictured (left) with his grandmother and brother, had only just graduated from high school days before the tragedy
Their heartbreaking remarks come after chilling footage revealed a witness shouted the farewell ‘bye bye’ to the teenager after he jumped overboard on May 24.
Robbins, 18, went missing after leaping from the party boat Blackbeard’s Revenge off uninhabited Athol Island while on a high school graduation trip. The search was called off two days later with no sign of the missing teen.
Video from the party boat shows the high school baseball star already in the water, with an indistinct white figure, possibly a shark, moving in the water near him.
Screams go up from the crowd on board the boat, as a male is heard shouting: ‘This kid f***ing jumped off! Oh my f***ing God! Oh, shut the f*** up! Oh, bye, bye!’
‘Hey, grab the buoy!’ another person shouts, referring to a life preserver in the water. The video ends as Robbins swims away from the life preserver.
Meanwhile, the Louisiana teen’s family paid tribute to his life in an obituary following a visit to the scene where he disappeared.
In the online obituary, his family paid tribute to their ‘beloved grandson, son, brother and friend’ who ‘was a recent high school graduate of the University Lab School in Baton Rouge,’ Louisiana.
The tribute says that Robbins was adopted shortly after his birth in November 2004, going on to participate ‘in any and every competitive activity that he could find, dominating numerous YMCA and church-league preschool team leagues.’
It says: ‘He eventually chose baseball as his first love. […] He was a tough player, battling back from multiple injuries, known to pitch through separated shoulders and broken hands. He hoped to continue his baseball career at the college level.’
His family says he had recently returned from a weekend fishing trip on the Louisiana Gulf Coast with his father and brother before he left for his graduation celebrations in the Bahamas.
In addition to being a sports lover, his family wrote ‘he loved his truck and country music, and was always a big star in the shower and with karaoke machines.
‘He was also an avid LSU fan regularly attending football, basketball and baseball games. Finally, he loved all things edible, especially his mother’s red beans and his grandmother’s spaghetti and meatballs. He made frequent late-night trips to his family’s pantry, where he consumed large quantities of fruity pebbles and popcorn.’
The tribute adds: ‘Though he left this world far too soon, he lived a life full of good friends and family He was funny and kind-hearted, but also intense and driven. He doted on his grandparents and he took pride in his work.
‘He will be missed desperately by his family and friends, who will carry their cherished memories of him to eternity.’
The family are holding a memorial service on Sunday, June 4, and have requested donations be made in his name to the charity – Christian Homes & Family Services in Abilene, Texas – an adoption agency.
Robbins (left) had only arrived on the island hours before the pirate-themed sunset boat excursion and had been staying at the Atlantis Paradise Island in Nassau
Robbins is seen at prom. In addition to being a sports lover, his family wrote ‘he loved his truck and country music, and was always a big star in the shower and with karaoke machines’
The family are holding a memorial service on Sunday, June 4, and have requested donations be made in his name to the charity – Christian Homes & Family Services in Abilene, Texas
Robbins was last seen jumping overboard near Athol Island, not far from where he had been staying on Paradise Island
On Friday, the mother of one of Robbins’ friends told Fox News that revealed that several students tried to grab him before he took the plunge but he broke free.
‘This was a booze cruise, and they were on their way back when this happened,’ the unnamed woman said.
‘My son texted me when it happened, saying, “Cameron jumped off. They can’t find him.” They were out there until 2, 3 the morning. It was terrible weather that night. The kids were cold, wet and traumatized.
‘The girls were in bikinis and bathing suits. The guys were giving them their shirts. It was a bad time to bring drunk 18-year-olds out into waters near this island where there’s nothing.’
Robbins had only been on the island mere hours before he joined the party cruise alongside dozens of recent graduates, who travelled to the Caribbean hotspot to celebrate finishing high school just days before the tragedy.
But the mother said the other graduates were left in shock and disbelief after Robbins broke free and jumped into the water, leading to an exhaustive multi-day search that has since been called off.
Terrifying footage captured the moment Robbins was flung a life preserver by one of his fellow graduates, only for him to swim away from help as a shadowy image circled beneath.
The ominous video has fueled speculation he may have been attacked by a shark, and with no trace of the youngster, the multi-agency search for him was ended after two days.
Providing an update as the search was ended, Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) Commodore Raymond King confirmed that the area where Robbins went overboard is populated by a high number of sharks.
‘I can tell you that area where an individual reportedly jumped over, it’s an area that is really shark infested as well,’ he said.
‘It is so unfortunate, but I don’t want the family to lose hope.
‘The probability of survival decreases significantly particularly if a person did not have on a life vest and particularly if a person is perceived to be intoxicated.’
Before the operation was called off, the US Coast Guard deployed multiple search and rescue assets in response to obtaining assistance from the Royal Bahamas Defense Force.
The expansive search to find Robbins saw officials plot and scour a 325-square-mile area of the Caribbean Sea.
Robbins was a standout player on the baseball team at University Laboratory School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The 325-square-mile search for Cameron Robbins, 18, is plotted in this chart
After the search for the teenager was ended, his heartbroken family travelled to the Bahamas to retrace his final movements.
Speaking to WBRZ, United Cajun Navy Vice President Brian Trascher said: ‘It took a lot of strength for them to go out there and stay for a few days.
‘When we offered to take them out in a boat to the area where he went overboard and some of the area they were searching they went.
‘I know had to be very emotional for them, but they went and by Sunday they decided they wanted to go home.
‘Had they found a piece of clothing or any kind of clue, that would cause them to extend that 48-hour period, but if they don’t get any kind of indication then that’s usually when they call it off.’
Tributes have poured in for the teenager as the Baton Rouge community grapples with his disappearance.
His baseball coach, Justin Morgan, said: ‘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.’