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Clemson Student Death: Kendall Wernet Fell From Cruise Ship's Radar Deck

Image: Clemson Student Death: Kendall Wernet Fell From Cruise Ship's Radar Deck
In this September 2005 file photo, Carnival Cruise Lines' ship Ecstasy docks next to downtown New Orleans (background. (Paul J.Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 08:44 AM

Clemson University student Kendall Wernet's death is being investigated by Florida authorities after the 20-year-old fell off a cruise ship's radar deck in a restricted area as the ship pulled into a Miami port Monday morning.

Wernet, of Arden, North Carolina, died of blunt force trauma to the head around 8:30 a.m. EST Monday, the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office confirmed to the Greenville News. Police do not believe foul play was involved and are treating the death as an accident.

Wernet, a junior management student at Clemson, was aboard a Carnival Ecstasy ship that was returning to Miami after a three-day cruise for Student Painters, a Michigan-based company that encourages young people to become entrepreneurs. He and a group of five or six others reportedly climbed up onto a restricted radar platform Monday morning.

"They had seen a group up there the night before and thought it would be a good idea to go there at about 5 a.m. to see the sun rise over Miami," Steve Acorn, owner of Student Painters, told the News, adding that no alcohol was involved in the incident. "They were up there talking . . . and the radar system went on. Based on where you were standing, it caught Kendall and threw him down."

The cruise line issued a statement about Wernet's death later in the day Monday.

"Earlier this morning as the Carnival Ecstasy was approaching Port Miami, a 20-year-old male guest entered a restricted area and climbed up onto the ship's forward mast," the statement read. "He subsequently fell and landed on the deck. He was initially treated by the ship's medical team and later transferred to a local trauma center in Miami. Unfortunately, he has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this difficult time."

University officials issued their own statement this week, offering sympathy to Wernet's family and friends.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Clemson student Kendall Wernet, a junior management major from Arden, N.C.," Shannon Finning, Clemson Dean of Students, said. "Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends, and we stand ready to help them through this difficult time."

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Clemson University student Kendall Wernet's death is being investigated by Florida authorities after the 20-year-old fell off a cruise ship's radar deck in a restricted area as the ship pulled into a Miami port Monday morning.
clemson, student, death, kendall wernet
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2014-44-01
Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 08:44 AM
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