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Man leaps off Carnival cruise ship into Gulf of Mexico

September 25, 2011 |  6:53 pm

Mexican authorities were searching Gulf of Mexico waters Sunday for a passenger who jumped off a Carnival cruise ship shortly after it left Cozumel on Friday.

WFFA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth identified the man as Clint Wayne Markham of Forney, Texas.

Crew members on the Carnival Conquest searched for the 39-year-old passenger after witnesses said they saw him jump overboard about 6:30 p.m. Friday, Carnival officials said in a statement obtained by The Times.

"All appropriate authorities were notified and the ship returned to the location where the man was last seen to begin search and rescue operations," the statement said.

The ship was later released from the search while Mexican authorities continued to comb the waters for the man, the statement said.

The Carnival Conquest had left Galveston on Sept. 18 for a seven-day cruise. Carnival staff were providing support to the family of the missing man Sunday, the statement said. The cruise ship was scheduled to return to Galveston on Sunday.


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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Houston