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Family: Gambling not behind fatal jump

Michael Good, who died after apparently leaping off a cruise ship, was no gambler, says a family member, but he liked beer and was impulsive.

By JANE MEINHARDT

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 16, 2000


CLEARWATER -- Gambling was not something Michael Good did often. Drinking beer, a family member said Tuesday, was a different story.

Good's family thinks the 34-year-old Clearwater man, who died after apparently jumping off a casino cruise ship Sunday, may have been too drunk to realize he was at sea.

"He was not a gambler," said Suzanne Lynch Duguay, Good's sister-in-law. "He didn't jump because he lost a lot of money, and it wasn't a suicide."

The Coast Guard said Good was "highly intoxicated" when he jumped off the SunCruz 11 about 10:30 p.m. Sunday. That does not surprise his family.

"He liked beer," Duguay said Tuesday. "He'd rather spend his money on booze than on gambling. We think he was so drunk that he thought he was at a dock or something."

Good went aboard the casino ship with several friends who talked him into going with them, she said. One of those friends saw Good jump and told the family Good was drunk.

"He was sitting at the bar," Duguay said. "He jumped up off his chair, opened the door and jumped."

The SunCruz ship was about 15 miles west of Clearwater when Good went overboard. The ship and a Coast Guard boat searched for him.

The Coast Guard found Good shortly after midnight Monday, floating face down.

He was taken to Largo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 2 a.m. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death.

Duguay described her brother-in-law as an impulsive person who sometimes did not think before doing something. He was a strong swimmer and loved to fish.

She said Good had lived in Pinellas for about four years and worked for a carpet-cleaning business.

Survivors include his wife and two daughters, ages 12 and 6.

"He probably wanted to leave and jumped off, thinking he could swim to shore," Duguay said. "He just didn't realize where he was."

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