Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 8°C


Felixstowe: Depression led man to jump from Port of Felixstowe crane

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 March 2012

Rubber-tyred gantry cranes at the Port of Felixstowe

Rubber-tyred gantry cranes at the Port of Felixstowe


FELIXSTOWE: A contract port worker who was suffering a severe mental illness died when he sustained multiple injuries jumping from a crane, an inquest has heard.

Colin Watkinson, who lived in Winfarthing, Norfolk, was discovered by Port of Felixstowe police at the foot of an unattended crane on December 28 last year.

At an inquest into his death at Ip-City yesterday, Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean said Mr Watkinson had been treated for depression in the days leading up to his death.

He said while he was given medication, none of the doctors who assessed him feared he was suicidal.

Dr Dean said that there was evidence Mr Watkinson went to the docks “with the intention of doing what he did” and said it was “clear he did that as a direct response to the illness he was suffering”.

But the coroner added: “There is no suggestion in a normal state of mind that he would have taken that action.”

The inquest heard the police officer who found Mr Watkinson’s body on the ground, close to a crane, attempted to give the 52-year-old CPR before paramedics arrived.

The day prior to his death Mr Watkinson was seen by an out-of-hours doctor after his wife and neighbours raised fears about his health.

He was seen by his own GP at a follow-up appointment on the morning of his death.

Dr Dean said it was noted when Mr Watkinson, who worked as an engineer for contractors Serco, arrived at the port, he spoke to an officer at the port’s police station, but gave no cause for concern.

“There were no warning signs flagged up to the officer he spoke to,” he said. “He gave his GP no indication of what took place later that day.

“He was clearly much more ill than he seemed on the surface, and was able to mask the severity of his illness.”

Reading parts of a statement by Mr Watkinson’s wife Carol, Dr Dean said she noted her husband had appeared anxious and made reference to looking at the cranes the day before his death.

But Mrs Watkinson said there were no signs or mention of her husband wanting to take his own life.

Dr Dean recorded a verdict that Mr Watkinson took his own life while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

n The Samaritans is always available to talk to anyone in need. Call the helpline on 08457 909090.

n Pay tribute to Colin Watkinson - write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail

It was touch and go for Pickle the black Labrador when she was hit by a car on the A14 this summer – but now the determined pooch is making a remarkable recovery.

Armed police have raided a house in Ipswich as they investigate a suspected firearms incident.

Bosses behind the development of the former Sproughton sugar beet site have confirmed it will not be used as another out-of-town retail park.

More than 100 people are preparing to pound the pavements for a major walking event aimed at raising vital cash for Alzheimer’s research.

A balaclava-clad man brandishing a knife robbed a McColls convenience store in Ipswich.

Shopping in Ipswich has just got a little sweeter as Hotel Chocolat has opened its doors.

Six abandoned cats were discovered in a cramped carrier in woodland near Stowmarket.

An Ipswich van driver has been banned from the road after being caught speeding along the A12 on seven occasions in a month.

With the start of our big Books for Schools campaign just over a week away, we are looking for even more schools to take up the challenge.

While most people throw their empty plastic cleaning bottles away when they’re empty, one father of three from Essex has been refilling and reusing his for the last three years.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24