Tributes have been paid to a dad-of-two who died after choking at Hartlepool Marina
Tributes have been paid to a dad who died after choking while eating fish and chips at Hartlepool Marina.
The Great North Air Ambulance was called to Navigation Point, on Monday afternoon to reports of a man choking.
Robert Welch, 67, was taken by helicopter to The James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough in a critical condition.
The dad-of-two, from Hartlepool, who had dementia, later passed away.
His sister-in-law Julie Welch has thanked the people who fought to save him.
She said: “I just want to thank those who helped for doing CPR on him and thanks to the ambulance service and the air ambulance and to James Cook University Hospital for everything that was done to try to save Robert’s life. We are all so grateful to everyone who helped.
“Robert was an amazing father, brother, brother-in-law and uncle who will be sadly missed by all the family.”
Pauline McLoughlin was visiting Hartlepool from Thirsk, along with a friend, when she ran to Robert’s aid.
The 53-year-old, who is originally from Australia, is a trained first aider and said she ran when she heard people shouting for help.
She said: “We were walking along the marina when we heard someone shouting asking if there was a first aider or a nurse or anything because someone was choking.
“I took off towards the people. The man had been sitting on a bench by the water eating fish and chips, I think he was with his daughter and son-in-law.
“I ran towards him and he was completely unresponsive and wasn’t breathing.
“A young guy who also knows first aid ran up and asked what he could do to help and he helped me get the man up so we could give him the Heimlich manoeuvre to try and dislodge the chip he was choking on, but because he was unresponsive, I couldn’t do it properly.”
Ms McLoughlin says was upset to hear the man had died.