A WIRRAL pensioner drowned in a water butt in his garden while watering his vegetable patch, an inquest heard.

Peter Crawford, of Borough Road, Birkenhead, was found face down in a water butt in his garden on June 30.

The 70-year-old had spent the day at home and had been watering vegetables when the tragedy happened.

The inquest into his death, which was held on Thursday at Wallasey Town Hall, was told how Mr Crawford had seen his doctor on several occasions following dizzy spells and unsteadiness on his feet.

It was believed that the former production operator may have suffered a mini-stroke five weeks earlier.

Coroner’s officer Arthur Flower told the hearing how Mr Crawford’s brother, who lived with him, found him dead after coming home from a shopping trip.

He said: “The deceased’s brother returned home at 3.45pm. He went to the kitchen in order to put the shopping away and on looking out of the window, he could see the deceased standing motionless in the garden alongside a large water butt, approximately 4ft in height, in which rain collected which he would use to water a vegetable patch.

“On investigating, he found him bent over the water butt face down in the water. He was unresponsive with his arms and hands also in the water.”

After calling for an ambulance, his brother managed to pull the water butt onto its side, causing Mr Crawford to fall to the ground.

The inquest heard that his hands were white and “it was apparent that he had been in the water for some time.”

Paramedics discovered he was in cardiac arrest, following continued resuscitation attempts, death was officially pronounced at Arrowe Park Hospital at 4.50pm.

A post-mortem examination conducted at the Countess of Chester Hospital revealed Mr Crawford died as result of drowning.

Recording a verdict that Mr Crawford died from an accident Wirral coroner Christopher Johnson said: “Taking all the factors into account and previous history, I am satisfied that he had some sort of medical event causing him to collapse at that point and fall head first into the water butt and tragically drowning.”