Cameron Robbins' parents are devastated and at a lot of words but said they "appreciate" the outpouring of support for their son on Saturday, a day before the planned memorial of the 18-year-old Louisiana high school graduate who was tragically lost at sea after he jumped overboard a party boat into the shark-infested waters late last month.
William and Shari Robbins, both 54, have received hundreds of calls since their son jumped off a pirate-themed booze cruise ship in the Bahamas on a dare on May 24. A search was launched to find Robbins but was it called off two days later after he was untraceable. His parents have since returned to their home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Grieving Their Lost Son
The couple, who spoke to the New York Post, from their home said that their loss is irreparable. The couple was pleasant and friendly as they spoke about their son, a popular baseball player who had just graduated from high school and was described as both "funny and kind-hearted" and "intense and driven."
"We are just mourning our son right now," Shari Robbins told The Post.
"We appreciate you calling. Maybe we will be able to talk more later."
"We appreciate everyone's support," William added.
The family has also issued an obituary for Robbins. "Cameron Crossley Robbins was a beloved grandson, son, brother and friend. He was lost at sea after being reported missing off the coast of Athol Island in the Bahamas on the evening of May 24," the obituary stated.
Cameron played baseball for his high school's varsity squad for three years.
"He was a tough player, battling back from multiple injuries, known to pitch through separated shoulders and broken hands," according to the obituary.
"He hoped to continue his baseball career at the college level.
"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 will be missed desperately by his family and friends, who will carry their cherished memories of him to eternity."
A memorial service for Cameron is scheduled for June 4 from 2 pm to 4 pm in Baton Rouge.
Avid Sports Lover and Gentle Soul
In addition, Robbins "loved his truck and country music" and was "a big star" when using karaoke machines and in the shower. The youngster would frequently raid their cupboard at night, "where he consumed large quantities of Fruity Pebbles and popcorn."
Besides his parents, Robbins' immediate family includes his brother Cole and sister Cassie.
Robbins, who had graduated from University Lab School in Baton Rouge on May 21, jumped overboard on a dare from Blackbeard's Revenge, a pirate ship-style boat.
He had just returned from a weekend fishing trip with his father and brother on the Louisiana Gulf Coast before leaving for the disastrous graduation celebration with his friends in the Bahamas.
Robbins was last seen late May 24 in the waters off Athol Island.
Disturbing video footage shows Robbins initially swimming in the water while a life jacket is thrown his way and his classmates ask him to grab on before he disappears.
The new footage has sparked speculation on social media that Robbins may have perished after being chased by a shark. According to some, a shark is visible in the footage.
In the video of the last moments Robbins is seen, someone can be heard yelling, "This kid f–king jumped off! Oh my f–king God! Oh, shut the f–k up! Oh, bye, bye!"
Moments later, he disappeared under the surface. For the next two days, the US Coast Guard, the United Cajun Navy, and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force all scoured the hazy waters.
They searched an area of more than 325 square miles without success before calling off the search on May 26 because they had not located Robbins.
The family of the missing youngster made a quick trip to the Bahamas after news of his disappearance and joined in the extensive search for the teen, Brian Trascher, vice president of the search-and-rescue nonprofit organization United Cajun Navy, told WBRZ.
"It took a lot of strength for them to go out there and stay for a few days," Trascher said.
"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, which I know had to be very emotional for them, but they went."
The Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF) Commodore Raymond King provided an update on Tuesday and said that the region where Robbins went overboard is "really shark-infested."
The Bahamas is known for highly aggressive sharks, such as tiger and bull sharks, which often attack tourists.
They searched an area of more than 325 square miles without finding Robbins, so they called off the search on May 26.