Cruise passenger with special needs confirmed dead

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed that a passenger reported missing aboard the Mobile-based Fantasy has died.

Luke Renner, who suffered from autism, climbed over a rail, possibly thinking that he was going swimming, according to a news release from the cruise line:

Carnival Cruise Line regrets to report that the 22-year-old male guest with autism who was missing on Carnival Fantasy went overboard after climbing over the deck rail.  His family believes he may have been under the mistaken assumption that he was going swimming.

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 guest’s family has requested privacy.  We will not be releasing any additional information and ask the media to respect the wishes of the family.

Renner’s family also released the following statement: 

We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved son, brother, and grandson. Luke was a
light in our lives, funny, unusual, and, for a child with autism, loving and affectionate. He
was our boy.
The boy loved milkshakes, nachos, guacamole and smoothies.
He loved the Wishes4Me special needs community where he
lived, and we were delighted when they planned this special
event. He loved cruises. Although we are devastated by his
death, we are thankful he was there with people we loved and
trusted, when he died. We are confident Wishes4Me watched
over him with the utmost care and we do not hold them in any
way responsible.
Recently we told Luke of his grandmother’s death. He jumped up and down and said,
“Mimi’s in heaven with Jesus! Yay! She can talk! No more wheelchair.”
Luke is with Jesus now, jumping up and down, and he can express himself clearly, and
be understood. No more seizures, no more meds. We can’t wait to talk to him. We truly
believe he knows he was well loved, but we would like to ask him why he hid a favorite
decorative pillow, his sister’s curling iron, and father’s new camera lens. We know he
will answer with that mischievous smile that warmed our hearts and will remain with us
We ask for privacy at this difficult time so we can honor Luke’s memory and console all
those who grieve for him.
A private celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we invite you to
make donations to

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