An 18-year-old boy from Louisiana was celebrating his recent high school graduation during a sunset cruise in the Bahamas Wednesday when he reportedly jumped overboard on a dare, triggering a large-scale search.
Cameron Robbins, who graduated from University Laboratory School in Baton Rouge this past Sunday, was on a trip to the Bahamas with students from several local high schools, staying at Atlantis Paradise Island resort in Nassau, reported the station WAFB.
On Wednesday evening, just four hours after their arrival, Robbins and his friends went on a sunset party cruise.
According to witnesses, around 9:40 p.m., the 18-year-old — who was apparently acting on a dare — took a plunge off the boat into the ocean near Athol Island.
Robbins was last seen splashing in the dark waters a few feet from the boat, before vanishing from view.
The boat, designed to resemble a pirate ship, remained in the area for several hours as crew members tried to find the teen.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force, assisted by the US Coast Guard Southeast, has been searching for the missing teen from the air, but so far without success.
University Lab School Director Kevin George said Robbins attended the school for all 13 years of his education and was a pitcher on the school’s baseball team. His younger sister is a junior at the school.
“He’s an athlete, great kid, great smile, great head of hair,” George told the station WBRZ. “Just one of the kids you’re so proud of when they cross the stage.”
The principal released a statement on behalf of the school, saying that the University Lab School community was praying for Robbins’ safe return.
“I have been in touch with Cameron’s family and at this time, authorities are still searching for him in the Bahamas,” George wrote. “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.”
Robbins’ parents arrived in the Bahamas Thursday, when a prayer vigil was held at the resort where their son was staying.
A separate prayer circle for Robbins was held the same day outside his former school in Baton Rouge.