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Autistic man on Carnival Cruise jumps overboard, possibly thinking he was going swimming: Family

Relatives confirmed the death of Georgia man with autism who went overboard this week, revealing that he possibly leapt off the ship as he mistakenly believed he was going swimming.

The cruise line also confirmed Luke Renner’s death in a statement issued to WKRG. In it, they claimed Renner was discovered missing on the Carnival Fantasy after climbing over a guardrail on Sunday.

“His family believes he may have been under the mistaken assumption that he was going swimming,” the company said.

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In their own statement, Renner’s family told he was one of nine people on the five-day excursion with the Wishes 4 Me Foundation. They were reportedly being accompanied by three chaperones employed by the non-profit organization. His parents weren’t aboard the ship, which departed Alabama on Saturday and traveled through the western Caribbean, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“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,” they said. “We are confident Wishes4Me watched over him with the utmost care and we do not hold them in any way responsible.”

CNN reported that Carnival informed the Coast Guard of Renner’s disappearance on Monday. According to the Miami Herald, Carnival initially claimed the crew couldn’t locate Renner on security camera footage. Mexican authorities reportedly searched the 2,675-passenger vessel Monday while at port before leaving.

The family said the 22-year-old will be commemorated during a private celebration of life ceremony.

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[Featured Image: Luke Renner/WTVJ]