Mystery surrounds the death of an electrician who died while working offshore in the North Sea.

Walter Mann, 48, was based on the Noble Hans Deul drilling ship, north of Cromer, when he was found “collapsed and unresponsive” in a cabin he had been working in.

Despite efforts by his colleagues to resuscitate Mr Mann, he was declared dead.

A post mortem was inconclusive, with the pathologist stating that the medical cause of death was "unascertained". 

Eastern Daily Press: An oil rig

An inquest held at Norfolk Coroner’s Court this week also could not say what the cause of death was, with Area coroner, Yvonne Blake, reaching an open conclusion.

Mrs Blake said: “It is very unsatisfactory from everybody’s point of view not knowing how Mr Mann died.  

"I do know that he was found in a hunched-over position by his colleague who immediately called for help and started CPR. 

“The treatment was prompt and excellent. They tried absolutely everything they could [to help him]. I think the medical care on the rig was superb.” 


In statements provided to the court, based at County Hall in Norwich, his children led the tributes to their father. 

His eldest daughter, Ruby Mann, described how her father had “always been there” when she needed help. 

She said: “I miss the phone calls that I used to have with him. I also miss his voice and his hugs. He was always there to cheer me up. 

"I’m going to miss his jokes around the home. I’ll miss his cooking and I’ll miss his steak dinner.” 

Eastern Daily Press: Walter Mann as his son, Garry Mann's best man

His son, Garry Mann, worked with his father who had also been best man at his wedding. 

He said his father’s death had "changed our lives completely”. 

“I'm heartbroken,” he added. 

“We did a lot together. We did everything together at one time. 

“He was always there on the phone; he was always there. 

“We relied a lot on him, and he always provided for us – big time. He helped us a lot. 

“It’s ruined our lives.” 

Eastern Daily Press: Walter Mann

His parents, Margery and Walter senior, recalled his good sense of humour and said he had lots of friends. 

Mrs Mann said: “I miss him every day. We were so close. I miss his company. He was a good laugh."

While Mr Mann Snr added: “We were very close as a family. 

“His death’s left a big hole in my life, that’s what I can say. 

“He had many friends and was well-liked. 

“I will miss him.” 

The court also heard how he had separated from his wife, but they remained good friends and successfully co-parented their three children. 

He was born in the town of Dunbar, near Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 5, 1973, and lived in Weydale, near Thurso, in northern Scotland.

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