Clemson students are mourning the death of yet another classmate.
School officials confirmed in a release that 20-year-old Kendall Wernet of Arden, N.C., died in Florida on Monday after what appeared to be an accidental fall from the mast of a cruise ship.
Miami-Dade County Police said the vessel Carnival Ecstasy was returning to the Port of Miami when Wernet climbed its forward mast in a restricted area. The cruise line said Wernet fell the equivalent of two levels on the ship before hitting the deck. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Police say there is no evidence of foul play, and all signs point to the death as an accident.
WYFF reported that Wernet had been invited on the cruise because he was considered a high achiever by the company Student Painters. Student Painters owner Steve Acorn said the Clemson student had joined four others on the top of the radar deck to watch the sunrise as the vessel came into Miami. He said Wernet was struck by a radar dish that began to turn while the group was standing on the platform. Acorn stressed that alcohol did not appear to have been involved.
He was also a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Across America and co-founded the youth coaching group The Driven Vision. He was also a member of Clemson’s Symphonic Band.
His death came almost exactly a week after another Clemson student, 19-year-old Tucker Hipps, also died from an apparent fall. Hipps’ body was found beneath two bridges over Lake Hartwell. Investigators in that case said it appeared Hipps fell behind on an early morning run for new members of a fraternity and somehow fell off the bridge after the other runners lost track of him. The Oconee County Coroner’s Office said Hipps had head injuries consistent with a fall.