Passenger Missing From Carnival Conquest Cruise Ship

A local television station in Galveston, Texas is reporting that a 39 year old passenger is missing after going overboard from the Carnival Conquest after the cruise ship left Cozumel, Mexico. 

Carnival Conquest Cruise Ship - Overboard Passenger The incident occurred Friday evening.

ABC affiliate Channel 13 Eyewitness News' article states that  "according to a statement from Carnival Conquest, a 39-year-old male was seen jumping overboard around 6:30pm Friday while the ship was in the Gulf of Mexico, shortly after departing Cozumel."

This statement likely indicates that other passengers observed the passenger go overboard and/or ship personnel observed him jump overboard.

The article indicates that the cruise ship returned to the location where the passenger was seen going overboard in order to conduct search and rescue operations.  

Mexican vessels apparently were also in the search efforts.

The Carnival Conquest is returning to Galveston today.

This cruise ship has had passengers go overboard in the past.  In October 2006, a 48 year old woman apparently committed suicide by jumping from an upper deck.  You can read about that incident here.  Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein's website mentions another incident in November 2006 when a 42 year old passenger fell/jumped from his cabin and was not found. 

Professor Klein's website lists 167 incidents (not including this one) where passengers and crew have gone overboard from cruise ships in the last 10 years.  

Were you on the cruise?  Do you have information, or photos or video of the rescue attempts, to share?  Please leave a comment below.  

September 24, 2011 Update:

The passenger has been identified as Clint Wayne Markham of Forney, Texas.

The Carnival cruise ship captain, Antonio Sammartano, sent a letter to the passengers stating:

“We’re sorry to say that at this time, the missing guest has not been located. However, the Mexican navy remains on site and continues with the search.  We continue to provide support to his family and friends during this difficult time.  We ask that you please continue to join us in keeping them in your thoughts and prayers."

A Fox News station in Dallas has accounts from friends and family of Mr. Markham that he was a fine son, father and husband and that he would not have voluntarily gone overboard.  He apparently sailed on cruises every year to celebrate his birthday.  He would have been 40 years old today.   

 

Photo credit:

Wikipedia/Wikimedia Klobetime

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Comments (20) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Stacia greene - September 25, 2011 1:41 PM

We were on the back deck and we saw the ring tossed out then we saw a lot of blood in the water off the back when the boat slowed the engines and turned. Then they threw out the second ring w a flare to mark the spot.

M Sloan - September 25, 2011 8:03 PM

I was on this cruise as well however did not witness the gentleman go overboard or see him in the water. My question is why do these ships not have a small watercraft to immediately engage in a search? It took quite a while for a boat from Cozumel to come search for this man. By that time our ship had moved considerably from the site where he went overboard. I understand that this is a horrific incident for his friends, family, fellow cruisers and the Carnival employees. Everyone was very saddend by the loss however it would be helpful to understand the state that the gentleman was in to clarify the unfortunate rumors that were running rampant through the passengers.

stephanie phillips - September 25, 2011 8:34 PM

i did not see this man go over but shortly after was on the 9th floor deck i do not think this was suicide i think it was just foolish he was very drunk. there are around 4,000 people on this ship and that is how many different stories you will hear i pray for his family and friends he has two young children and a wife that had to tell them today why she came home and their father didnt! please keep this family in your prayers they will need all they can get its hard enough to loose a loved one in the comort of your own home and its expected when you are older regardless this is hard i would imagine even harder in the public eye!

Christy - September 25, 2011 10:48 PM

This passenger was my cousin ands we cannot get a answer from anyone. ANY information or eye witness would greatly b appreciated. PLEASE forward your information and help us have closure on this bizarre event.

Greg Brewer - September 26, 2011 8:25 AM

I was on this cruise; I had just left that deck and saw nothing. There were many rumors but very few facts other than that he had not been located.

I know of a number of people that were very upset and wanted to just fly home.

Retro - September 26, 2011 10:23 AM

I was on this cruise ship and actually met Clint and his wife and another couple at Three Amigos in Cozumel. I did not know this was him until I saw the pictures later on the news story. He appeared to be a nice guy who was crazy about his wife. We had partaken of spirits and even have video drinking and dancing and me pulling on his wife's balloon hat. Not my finest moment. We spent about an hour with them. However, I do remember him saying he had been married 20 years, asking how long we had been married, and he seemed happy. You could tell he was celebrating. I think this was just a horrible accident. I was sad before when they announced it, and I will never forget it, but now it seems a bit more personal to me. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and kids.

jeff - September 26, 2011 2:49 PM

my friends and I were on the cruise on deck 8 beside each other. after a day off ship my friend was on the her room balcony and heard someone above her on the lido deck that sounded drunk and loudly said " im going to jump and make them pick me up! " she thought he was playing and dismissed it and went in side to then shortly hear the annoucment "man overboard" . did he commit suicide NO!! was possibly drunk and foolish .yeah thats my guess. ps my friend report to carnival what she heard him say and was ignored.

Nic - September 26, 2011 10:13 PM

I was on the same cruise and also heard from a lady who last spoke with him that we was just really drunk and thought it would be funny to jump and make the ship turn around to get him. Another guest said she was outside on her balcony when she heard a loud thump and then saw a body face-down float by. She immediately contacted Carnival from her room and said it took about 10 minutes before any employee made it to the area, then it was another 5 before a life preserver and flare were thrown out. It was a long while before any search boats were seen in the area, then it was dark soon after that. I don't think that Carnival did everything they could to immediately start searching for this person. Also wanted to mention that the night before this incident, a couple got into a fight and the husband threatened to jump overboard and went missing. A couple hours later and they found the husband gambling in the casino. Needless to say, they were both kicked off the boat in the Cayman Islands on Thursday. Maybe Carnival was hesitent to take this incident seriously? It's very sad this happened and my prayers go out to his family.

Alice - September 26, 2011 10:17 PM

Thank you for sharing your knowledge of this horrible incident. Clint and Michelle are very close friends of mine and we are all searching for answers. The media is reporting speculations and reader's comments on other sites are either ignorant or pure disrespectful. Clint was a happy, loved, and very loving man and had no reason to take his own life. This had to be a drunken accident and we just want the suicide accusations to stop. Thank you for your honesty and all of the information you can provide.

Carol - September 27, 2011 2:55 AM

This man is my niece's husband. I can tell you all that Clint has always worked very hard and provided well for hiu wife and children. He loves those kids and his wife more than life itself. I do not believe for one second that he could have committed suicide. That was just not his personality. He had so much to live for and would never have intentionally taken his own life. He would never have done that to his family.
Please pray for his wife and kids. We also pray for all who witnessed this tragedy.

David Markham - September 27, 2011 4:19 PM

Uncle Tom n Aunt Shirly`s Wayne was my cousin,Sherry,Carol,,Miss them ALL,

Sherri Mailes - September 28, 2011 6:33 PM

I was just wondering what the latest update is. Did they ever find his body?

John - September 28, 2011 7:03 PM

There is an iPhone app called "Shipmate" for Carnival Cruise Lines (Shipmate is not affiliated with CCL), which has a chat room function in it for each ship and cruise. Select the Conquest, the date of the cruise, Sept 18 and see the chats that Clint had with other cruisers. The chats are still in there and have not been removed. Yet...
Our prayers got out to the family and friends. I hope they find you Clint.

Mark - September 28, 2011 9:01 PM

My wife and I ran into his wife in the elevator just after this happened, before the bravo bravo announcement. From that, and some friends who witnessed... he jumped. It is possible though that it was a joke gone bad. Either way, response time definitely could have been better. I also heard that he hit something on the way down, possibly a life boat.

jrs - September 29, 2011 12:55 AM

i too was on this cruise. i did not witness or have any encounters with Clint. But I am very sad for the family. it was a terrible incident, and I too am concerned with the amount of time it took Carnival to deploy the search vessell from the ship. Time was of the essence and it seemed like forever.
At the same time, the fall from the Lido Deck is quite a fall, maybe 100 feet? I don't think even a professional diver could have survived that.....
Once again, my heart goes out to his family and friends.

Cindi S. - September 29, 2011 5:05 PM

I was on this ship too and I thought they did a very professional job handling the incident. I was on the Lido deck 10 min. before the incident filming our Cozumel departure. I came back to my room and heard the Bravo Bravo portside announcement over the speaker minutes later. The cruise director announced there was a man overboard moments later as the shipped slowed to a stop. Within minutes there was a ferry that retrieved the blinking light (which we thought was the life ring from the portside of the ship). I have the entire rescue attempt on video of the first boat to arrive, which was a yellow ferry. Unfortunately, this must have just been the marker or empty lifevest. We went on to dinner on the Lido deck, where we saw them continuing the search with spotlights, portside. The search continued for over 2 hours before Mexican authorities sent us on our way. The cruise director made more announcements offering prayers and support to the family. I feel so badly for the family & witnesses. They are in my thoughts & prayers.

PS, I would be happy to share my video if anyone wants to see it. I do feel the ship needs to put up more warnings around the railings or something. This probably wouldn't have helped in this case though.

Realmd - September 29, 2011 9:42 PM

I was sitting on my balcony on the starboard side of the ship. I heard a noise from above and when I looked toward the noise a man was falling through the air, appearing limp with arms and legs hanging down. He hit the water face and chest first. He never showed signs of life after hitting. He floated briefly and then I lost sight of him. There were numerous calls of "man overboard " by the passengers. I too feel there was too much lag time before response. That response was a "bravo, bravo" alert to the port side of the ship. I don't think anything would have changed the outcome of the tragedy, but I wish, I could have done more to respond in an effective manner. My prayers are with the Markham family. This will always leave IRS mark on me.

mr. roy lozano - October 2, 2011 4:59 PM

i went on this boat a week before my wife and i were terribly mad that we saw several people left behind with pass port's on the boat taking off...

LARRY S. - October 3, 2011 4:25 PM

WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED IN THE RESCUE ATTEMPT. I STOOD ON THE 10TH LEVEL AND WATCHED THE WHOLE THING. IT TOOK 34 MINUTES BEFORE THE CREW LAUNCHED A LIFE BOAT. A LIFE BOAT!!!! THERE SHOULD BE 2-3 WAVERUNNERS MOUNTED IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY CAN BE DROPPED IN TO THE WATER QUICKLY. THE INCIDENT TOOK AWAY THE FESTIVE MOOD OF MOST PASSENGERS.

Ben Combs Jr - September 12, 2013 4:21 PM

I was in the eating area when I saw him fall off and kind of bounced off one of the Life Boats and just seconds later I heard "Bravo Bravo Bravo" which means man overboard some people later sat near me and was in the cabin beside him and saw him jump off the ship the guARD RAIL IS RATHER HIGH ON THE SHIP AND I DON'T SEE HOW SOMEONE COULD JUST FALL OFF THE SHIP AND THEY SERVE A LOT OF ALCOHOL @ THAT PORT

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