Hull dad Paul Branton dies after collapsing on oil rig
TRIBUTES have been paid to a devoted father who collapsed on an oil rig and died from a heart attack.
Paul Branton, 43, collapsed on an oil rig in the North Sea and was airlifted to Hull Royal Infirmary where his family were told he had died.
He worked as a scaffolder and those closest to him have been told his friends in the construction industry downed tools as a mark of respect when they heard of his death.
Paul, of east Hull, was also a huge scooter fan and his fellow enthusiasts were planning to ride with the funeral cortege to celebrate his life today.
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His eldest daughter Ashlea, 22, of Bransholme, said: "I spoke to him less than 12 hours before he died and we were laughing and joking.
"He would have gone mad if he knew we were all here crying.
"He had a lot of friends and I definitely know that now.
"Everyone has been lovely and we've had notes through the door offering support.
"I miss him so much and I will miss our Friday nights. He used to pick me up from work with wine and he would have a curry on the go."
Ashlea received a call from Paul's colleagues on the oil rig at 9am on October 2 to say he had collapsed and would be flown to the hospital by the RAF helicopter from Leconfield.
She made her way to the hospital with other family members and was told the devastating news.
Ashlea said Paul, who also leaves behind his younger daughter, Lexy, 15, did not have any health problems and his heart attack came as a complete shock.
"I just expected to be led through to see him, not for them to tell me that," she said.
"My dad was very clever and always had a story to tell."
Paul's family said his colleagues and friends in the scaffolding world were devastated to learn of his death.
Tributes were posted on the internet, with suggestions for a minute's silence among scaffolders at 1.30pm today – the start of the celebration of his life.
Paul's family said he loved books and learning, as well as music.
His mother Joan Heslop, 63, of Bransholme, said: "He always rang when he was away at work and said 'I will treat you to bingo when I'm home'," she said.
"We would like to thank everybody who has sent messages to us. It's like one big family."
Paul's sister Shelley Branton, 41, of Bransholme, said her brother "left a mark" on everyone he met.
"He was the most loving brother," she said.
"He always had time for you if you needed him."
Paul climbed Ben Nevis to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support last year and also had a great respect for veterans.
His family therefore decided to hold a collection for the cancer charity and the Royal British Legion at his funeral today.
His wake was due to be held at the Goodfellowship in Cottingham Road, north Hull.
Paul's niece Yasmin Branton, 18, said: "He always put other people first and you could never be bored around him. He was one of the most inspiring people in my life."