Friends of Louisiana teenager Cameron Robbins ‘tried to physically stop him’ from jumping off a Bahamas party boat into shark-infested waters.
Robbins, 18, went missing last Wednesday after jumping from Blackbeard’s Revenge off the uninhabited island of Athol while on a high school graduation trip. The search was canceled two days later.
Now, the mother of one of Robbins’ friends has told Fox News that several students tried to grab him before he took the plunge, but he broke free.
“It was a booze cruise, and they were on their way home when it happened,” the unnamed woman said.
“My son texted me when it happened, saying, ‘Cameron jumped. They can’t find it. They stayed outside until 2.3 o’clock in the morning. The weather was terrible that night. The children were cold, wet and traumatized.
Robbins, pictured here left with his grandmother and brother, had just graduated from high school days before the tragedy
Robbins was an outstanding baseball player at University Laboratory High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“The girls were in bikinis and bathing suits. The guys gave them their shirts. It was a bad time to bring drunken 18 year olds into the waters near this island where there is nothing.
Robbins was on the island just hours before joining the celebratory cruise alongside dozens of recent graduates, who traveled to the Caribbean hotspot to celebrate high school graduation days before the tragedy.
But the mother said the other graduates were in shock and disbelief after Robbins broke free and jumped into the water, leading to a multi-day exhaustive search that has since been called off.
Terrifying footage captured the moment Robbins was thrown a lifeline by one of his fellow graduates, only to have him swim away from help as a dark image swirled below.
The disturbing video fueled speculation he may have been attacked by a shark, and with no trace of the youngster, the multi-agency search for him ended after two days.
Providing an update at the end of the search, Commodore Raymond King of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) confirmed that the area where Robbins went overboard is populated by large numbers of sharks.
“I can tell you that this area where an individual would have jumped off is also a really shark-infested area,” he said.
“It’s so unfortunate, but I don’t want the family to lose hope.
Robbins (left) had only arrived on the island hours before the pirate-themed sunset boat tour and was staying at Atlantis Paradise Island in Nassau.
Robbins was last seen jumping overboard near Athol Island, not far from where he was staying on Paradise Island.
“The probability of survival decreases significantly, particularly if a person was not wearing a life jacket and particularly if a person is perceived to be intoxicated.”
Before the operation was called off, the U.S. Coast Guard deployed multiple search and rescue assets in response to securing assistance from the Royal Bahamas Defense Force.
The extensive search to find Robbins saw officials plotting and scouring a 325 square mile area of the Caribbean Sea.
After the search for the teenager ended, his heartbroken family traveled to the Bahamas to trace his last movements.
Speaking to WBRZ, United Cajun Navy Vice President Brian Trascher said, “It took a lot of strength for them to get out there and stay a few days.”
“When we offered to take them in a boat to the area where it went overboard and part of the area they were searching, they went.
“I know it must have been very emotional for them, but they left and on Sunday they decided they wanted to go home.
“If they had found a piece of clothing or any type of clue, that would force them to extend that 48 hour period, but if they don’t get any indication, that’s usually when they cancel it. .”
The 325 square mile search for 18-year-old Cameron Robbins is plotted in this graphic
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 child who is truly loved by his teammates, teachers and classmates.
“He’s a fierce competitor on the baseball field. He’s a hard worker on and off the playing field. Our school community is struggling right now but hoping for the best.
“Our thoughts and prayers have been and will remain with the Robbins family during this difficult time.”