US Missing Diver Is Presumed Dead in Bimini Waters, but His Sister Is Hopeful

The sister of a missing American free diver who went missing in Bimini waters said she will not give up finding her brother, even though the Royal Bahamas Defense Force and the US Coast Guard called off the search.

In hopes that he is still alive, in a message to him she said, “Ryan, we will never stop looking for you.”

Ryan Proulx is seen with his family onboard a vessel.

Nicole Proulx said Ryan went missing on Friday around 6 pm, while free diving in Bahamian waters near the Bimini Barge Wreck, approximately 1.5 miles west of Bimini Inlet, wearing a green UV hooded shirt, heather green athletic shorts, red dive fins, redfin keepers and green snorkels.

He was never found, but a blue pole, red fins, and green shorts were discovered in the surrounding waters on Sunday.

After the US Coast Guard and Royal Bahamas Defence Force suspended the search on Sunday, friends launched a GoFundMe, seeking $60,000 to find the 31-year-old former police officer. As of Monday, more than $30,000 was raised.

Ryan Proulx, standing to the left, receives an award when he served in East Hartford Police Department, in Connecticut.

“Any money raised will go towards helping fly the volunteer dive team in this effort to bring Ryan home in an honorable manner that he deserves… If Ryan is found prior to this rescue trip, the money will go directly to his family. Any money left after the team goes over will go to the family also,” friend Shelby Morin said.

She described Ryan as a “friend and just an amazing guy.”

Ryan who is from Connecticut, left Palm Beach County Marina, Florida for Bimini last Thursday with a crew including his wife, after free diving around a sunken boat, when he disappeared.

The U.S. Coast Guard deployed two helicopters and a search plane to assist the Royal Bahamas Defense Force in the search but came up empty. After aircraft crews searched over 673 square miles for Ryan, the Coast Guard suspended the search.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the Proulx family,” Lt. Cmdr. Matt Spado, Coast Guard liaison officer, said in a tweet. “The decision to suspend the active search efforts pending further development is one we never take likely.”

Steve Diffenbacher, a friend said Ryan was a U.S.C.G. licensed boat captain and diver and often ran boats from the Northeast down to South Florida for clients who wanted to transport their boats.

‘Funny, Kindhearted, Intense and Driven,’: Family Pays Tribute to Missing Teen Cameron Robbins

While Cameron Robbins remains missing in Bahamian waters, his family wrote an obituary to eulogize the 18-year-old. He is described as “funny and kindhearted, but also intense and driven.”

“Though he left this world far too soon, he lived a life full of good friends and family,” the tribute reads.

Robbins, an American high-school graduate, was last seen swimming in dark waters near Anthol Island in the Bahamas, but soon disappeared, making international headlines and spurring an intense search and rescue effort by Bahamian authorities and US Coast Guards.

The Robbins family retraced his steps in the area he was last seen on last week Wednesday and now accepts that he met his demise, returning to Louisiana last Sunday.

Now the family is preparing a memorial for the young baseball athlete, set for July 4 at 4 pm at Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge.

Robbins who was adopted at birth, loved fishing, and had just returned from a weekend fishing trip on the Louisana Gulf Coast with his father and brother before he left with friends on the graduation trip to the Bahamas, his family said.

“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.”

Robbins was also vice president of the youth group at St Andrew’s United Methodist where he served.

Since his disappearance, many speculated that Robbins was killed by sharks, a theory based on an image seen in a video when he swims away from the boat that he reportedly jumped from.  The area he was last seen is also territory for the predators, and previous shark attacks occurred there.

“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,” said United Cajun Navy Vice President Brian Trascher after the search was called off on Friday.

“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 areas they were searching… They went, which I know had to be very emotional for them, but they went and by Sunday they decided they wanted to go home.”

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Christian Homes and Family Services, an adoption agency.