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.
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.