Search continues for man who jumped from Galveston-based cruise ship


by staff

Posted on September 25, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 26 at 9:16 AM

GALVESTON, Texas – Officials were still searching Monday for a man who jumped off a Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico.

The 39-year-old man, identified as Clint Wayne Markham from Forney, was seen jumping off the Carnival Conquest on Friday around 6:30 p.m., shortly after the ship left Cozumel, according to a statement from Carnival.

Officials said the company alerted authorities and returned to the ship to where the man was last seen to begin searching for him.

The cruise ship was later released from the search while Mexican authorities continued to look for him.

“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,” wrote the ship’s captain, Antonio Sammartano, in a letter given to passengers. “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.

Carnival Conquest left Galveston on September 18.

When it returned  at 9 a.m. on Sunday, passengers couldn’t help but recall what happened.

“We were taking pictures and we saw something fall,” said Kansas City native Mable Canady. “At first I thought it was some furniture. It couldn’t be a person.”

Canady and her husband were on their balcony, on the 6th floor. Markham jumped from the Lido deck on top of the ship.

“We just looked up. I could have reached out and touched him he was so close,” said Winston Canady.

Back in Forney, neighbors were shocked to hear the news.

“That’s very surprising to me, very surprising,” said Melvin McFee. “I can’t see him killing himself. I can’t see him committing suicide.”

Whatever the reason, Mable Canady said it’s an image she would like to forget.

“I cannot erase that out of my memory. I just keep seeing it,” she said.