Clint Markham, 40 – Suicide Overboard, Carnival Conquest Passenger, September 23, 2011, Time of Death 6:35
On September 18, 2011, Clint Markham, 40, and his wife Michelle embarked on a Caribbean cruise from Galveston, Texas to Cozumel, Mexico aboard Carnival Conquest. What follows is directly taken from the lawsuit Michelle Markham, her mother-in-law and Clint’s children filed against Carnival Cruise Lines.
The court filing states, “On September 23, 2011, the couple went on a cruise excursion to Costa Maya Resort which they booked through Carnival Cruise Lines, “Isla Pasion by Twister” which featured an unlimited amount of alcoholic beverages. The excursion expressly invites passengers who are “daredevils at heart.”
“The consumption of alcohol began before Clint left the ship that day, and then continued on with unlimited Rum Punch, Margaritas and beer that started at 10:30 a.m. Clint Markham drank heavily until about 3:30 p.m. There was little food consumed by Clint Markham, mostly which consisted of tortilla chips, guacamole, Pico de Gallo and chicken nuggets available at the free buffet. ”
“At approximately 4:00 p.m., the powerboat took the passengers back to the pier at Cozumel. The Markhams then visited the Tres Amigos bar which is leased from an entertainment and dining center owned and/or operated by Defendant CARNIVAL CORPORATION at its Costa Maya Resort Complex. There, Clint Markham drank one or two very large and strong drinks which were served in a “yard” glass. The drink(s) contained a potent alcoholic beverage named “Everclear.” Everclear is 190 proof, almost pure grain alcohol. The Markhams returned to the ship at about 6:00 p.m.”
“Clint Markham consumed so much alcohol in such a short period of time on September 23, 2011 that his judgment and physical coordination were substantially impaired.. When Mrs. Markham and her husband returned to the CARNIVAL CONQUEST after a day of drinking alcoholic beverages and partying, Clint Markham was inebriated to the point of being unable to care for his own safety or to think clearly and rationally. ”
“He wanted to continue drinking and partying, however his wife, tried to exert a calming influence on him and told him he had had too much to drink and that he should stay in the cabin and rest, take a shower, and get ready for dinner. Even though he had consumed excessive amounts of alcohol, Clint Markham had been conditioned by Defendant to want to keep partying, and to take it to the limit and beyond. Clint Markham was a daredevil type with honed reflexes who sometimes enjoyed activities that most people would consider too risky, such as bungee-jumping.”
He sat on the railing for a few moments and then fell face forward down into the sea. He appeared motionless after he hit the water. This was at approximately 6:25 p.m.
“Were Clint Markham not overly-inebriated, he would not have fallen face down, would not have appeared lifeless in the water and would not have hit anything on the way down. If Clint Markham did intend to jump off the railing as a daredevil, clowning stunt, to make some kind of statement to his wife that he was still the king of the party, he would have survived the jump, had he not passed out first. It is apparent from the witness statements and the evidence that Clint Markham, blacked out and passed out and fell into the sea, unable to care for his own safety.”
Michelee Markham claims it took Carnival Cruise Lines more than 20 minutes to send out a rescue boat after her admittedly drunk husband fell overboard.
The lawyer in the case, stated the following in the court filing. “Synonyms for the name of the Defendant’s corporation, Carnival, include “bacchanal”, “orgy”, “debauch” and “merrymaking.” The word “Carnival” has come to mean in the general lexicon a “self-indulgent festival.” One year later, the lawsuit was settled. The free court document can be read in full on Cruise Laws: Markham v. Carnival Cruise Lines.