Man Who Fell Overboard From Cruise Ship Reportedly Had Special Needs
A man who went overboard from a Carnival Cruise ship has been identified as 22-year-old Luke Renner from Georgia.
Renner went overboard on Sunday from a Carnival Fantasy cruise. He was on a group trip with nine people from the Wishes4Me foundation, which booked the five-day voyage leaving out of Mobile, Alabama, for special needs travelers.
According to the Miami Herald, Renner's travel companions, which included three chaperones, reported him missing on board the ship. The cruise company initially couldn't find security footage of Renner, and asked Mexican law enforcement to search the ship for him while it was at port on Monday.
On Wednesday, Carnival confirmed that Renner climbed the ship's railing and jumped overboard into the sea. In a statement, the man's family says they don't blame the group he was traveling with, and they think he might have mistakenly thought he was going for a swim.
“He loved the Wishes4Me special needs community where he lived, and we were delighted when they planned this special event,” the Renner family said in a statement to the Miami Herald. “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.”
Renner is the fourth cruise-goer to have gone overboard in the last month. The cruise industry is beginning to see increased scrutiny for the amount of overboard passengers. As one cruise industry expert told Quartz, the loose regulations behind these incidents are put into perspective when compared to tighter airline safety protocols.
"The airlines have got it absolutely right,” Michael Lloyd, a cruise safety consultant and former sea captain with 50 years of experience, told Quartz. “There is a clear chain of command that passengers follow, so safety measures are obeyed. Aircraft rarely ditch into the water and yet, the planes still carry life jackets and they still demonstrate them every time you get on a plane. That’s down to a difference in attitude towards safety and shows just how far the marine industry is still behind.”