Cruise line: Autistic man climbed deck rail, went overboard

Posted at 6:16 PM, Dec 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 19:16:08-05

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) – A cruise company says an autistic 22-year-old missing since Sunday had climbed over a ship’s deck rail, going overboard during a cruise from Alabama to the western Caribbean. The family says he is presumed dead.

Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line provided a statement from Luke Renner’s family, sent by a public relations firm.

The Renners say they’re devastated by Luke’s death but don’t blame Wishes4Me, the special needs group which organized the cruise. The family says they’re thankful the Johns Creek, Georgia, man was with people they loved and trusted when he died.

According to Carnival’s email, Renner’s family believes he may have thought he was going swimming.

An earlier statement said Renner was in a group of nine, with three chaperons.

The Carnival Fantasy left Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday. It has a passenger capacity of 2,675 people.