An angler from North Wales was found drowned in the River Dee, an inquest has heard.
But it will never be known how exactly Noel Vincent Holdsworth, 71, who was originally from Caernarfon, came to meet his death.
Mr Holdsworth, who was known as ‘Vince’, was last seen alive by a police officer on June 15, while fishing at Sandy Lane in Chester.
His body was later spotted in the river in the same area by rowing coach Duncan Little on June 20, CheshireLive reports.
The inquest heard Mr Holdsworth had a history of suicidal thoughts and attempts but a post-mortem examination revealed he had been drinking so could have fallen in.
His partner Penny Davies, from Tarporley in Cheshire, who had been in a relationship with Mr Holdsworth for six-and-a-half years but had known him 10 years, was aware he suffered from depression. She told the inquest he went fishing as ‘an escape’.
Speaking afterwards, Ms Davies said Vince had struggled ever since the death of his three-year-old daughter Carol in a road accident many years ago.
He had also served with a Welsh regiment in Germany and France during the Cold War and had remained a reservist.
She felt the loss of his ‘pretty’ young daughter combined with his experiences in the Army had played on his mind.
Ms Davies added: “He was very well liked in Chester. He would always help a friend in need. There’s been dozens of people asking after him. They were very shocked. They can’t believe he’s gone.
“He used to help care for my mum and my mum is finding it very hard to come to terms with. He was generous with money. It was a while ago but he also helped children at a riding school for the disabled.”
He had other jobs over the years as a chef and gardener and was a huge nature lover.
She said Vince’s ex-wife Anwen and his other daughter Sue-Ellen had attended his funeral.
“I feel Vince’s spirit lives on, “ added Ms Davies, who is trying to trace Vince’s brother Peter, who may be unaware of what has happened.
Heath Westerman, an assistant coroner for Cheshire, said there was no evidence that could medically explain the death such as a heart attack and no witnesses or CCTV.
He recorded an open conclusion, adding it would be pure speculation to say how Mr Holdsworth, of Christleton Road, Boughton in Chester, had entered the water.