THE reason why a pensioner walked into the sea is ‘unknown’, a coroner has ruled.

A hearing at Barrow Town Hall was told how Aileen Rourke, 74, had walked into the water off the Blackpool coast last November.

Her body was discovered days later on the beach at South Walney Nature Reserve by walkers.

The hearing was told Ms Rourke, who lived in Lytham Road in Blackpool, had suffered in the past with bouts of ‘confusion’.

A coroner ruled out suicide and said it was still ‘unknown’ why she stepped out into the water.

The mother-of-one, a retired carer, was described by friends and family as ‘beautiful’. She was said to have enjoyed cycling and yoga.

Son Chris Chrisotomon said: “She was always full of life.”

Friend Anne Nyquist said: “I loved her.

"She defined grace.

"It was a privilege to have known her.

"She was beautiful, there was nobody who didn’t like her.”

The inquest heard Ms Rourke had a history of medical problems, suffering from a stroke.

In an incident in 2016 she was said to have become confused and was said to have had stress-related transient amnesia.

She was last seen on November 8 and pronounced dead on November 18.

Her body was discovered by walker Andrew Gillett, who said the incident left him ‘numb and upset’.

She was said to have booked a number of appointments around the time of her death.

Police officers investigating looked at nearby CCTV cameras, which showed her walking into the water off the slipway behind the Starr Gate tram stop after 10am.

The cause of death was recorded as immersion in water.

Recording a narrative verdict, coroner Margaret Taylor said: “Aileen Rourke for reasons unknown walked into the sea at Blackpool. She washed up on the beach at South Walney Nature Reserve.”

She added: “Aileen was a very special person.

"I’m sure she will be much missed.”