Carnival Confirms Autistic Passenger Went Overboard

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Carnival Cruise Line confirmed the passenger who went missing during a sailing aboard the Carnival Fantasy Sunday went overboard after he climbed a deck railing.

According to, the passenger was identified as 22-year-old Luke Renner of John’s Creek, Georgia. He was autistic and sailing on the ship as part of a program offered by a nonprofit organization that works with disabled adults.

Carnival officials informed the Coast Guard Monday the cruise line was not able to find Renner, as they believed he went overboard just one day after the Carnival Fantasy departed from Mobile, Alabama.

Carnival Fantasy cruise ship in Cozumel. (photo via icholakov / iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)

“His family believes he may have been under the mistaken assumption that he was going swimming,” a Carnival spokesperson said in a statement. “Everyone at Carnival is deeply saddened and our thoughts and prayers are with the guest’s family and friends.”

“Our Care Team is providing assistance and support to his family and traveling companions,” the statement continued. “The guest’s family has requested privacy.”

In the cruise line’s original statement, it revealed Renner was part of a group of nine people traveling with three chaperones. He reportedly ran without warning out of the stateroom and his chaperone notified the ship’s crew after failing to find him.

Renner’s family said they place no blame on the Wishes 4 Me organization who brought him on the cruise. Instead, his loved ones are celebrating his life and focusing on their privacy.

The Carnival Fantasy is scheduled to return Thursday after a five-day sailing to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

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