Pictured: Boy, three, who drowned in fast-flowing canal after falling in while feeding ducks as mother dived in but could not save him
- Dylan Milsom and his mother Shelley Nardini were by the Kennet and Avon Canal
- But he fell into the cold water in Newbury, Berkshire, at around 2pm on Saturday
- Ms Nardini, 36, jumped in to try to save him but he was swept almost a mile away
- They were both rushed to hospital but the child died and Ms Nardini was treated
A three-year-old boy who drowned in a fast-flowing canal after falling while feeding the ducks has been pictured.
Dylan Milsom and his mother Shelley Nardini were by the Kennet and Avon Canal in Newbury, Berkshire, when he fell in at around 2pm on Saturday.
Ms Nardini, 36, a social worker, jumped in to try to save him but he was swept almost a mile downstream before being pulled out of the water by workmen.
They were both rushed to hospital but the child died while his mother was treated and discharged.
On Mother’s Day Ms Nardini shared a photograph of her son with love heart emoji, with friends and family paying tribute.
His aunt Claire Arrowsmith wrote: ‘Your beautiful, funny, cheeky little boy. We love you so much Dylan.’
Another posted: ‘So beautiful. That smile will shine forever in our hearts Shelley.’
Dylan Milsom (left) and his mother Shelley Nardini (right) were by the Kennet and Avon Canal in Newbury, Berkshire, when he fell in at 2pm on Saturday
Ms Nardini, 36, jumped in to try to save him but he was swept almost a mile downstream before being pulled out of the water. Pictured: Tributes at the scene
Locals in Newbury have called for improved safety measures at the Kennet and Avon canal in the wake of the tragedy.
More than 3,400 people have signed a petition to encourage new safety measures around the weir.
Briony Palmer, who started the petition, said: ‘The weir at Victoria Park, by Ash Bridge in Newbury, has long been recognised as a potential danger zone, with turbulent water and a strong current rolling into the canal.
‘We need a strong barrier in place to prevent accidents like this from happening in the future.’
They were both rushed to hospital but the child died while his mother was treated and discharged. Pictured: Emergency services on the scene at the weekend
Thames Valley Police were in attendance at the scene, where the River Kennet joins the Avon Canal near the A339 Newbury Ring Road, alongside paramedics and fire crews
Joe Bate, of the Dry Dock Company, a narrowboat company on the canal, said emergency services pulled the child out almost a mile from where he fell in.
He said he thought the automatic weir systems had contributed to the tragedy, with the canal flowing faster than normal.
A fisherman who would only give his name as Alan, was sitting in view of the flowers laid in tribute on Sunday.
The 54-year-old said: ‘They apparently found the three-year-old boy down by the allotments where they pulled him out – it’s nearly a mile downstream from where he went in.
‘He fell in at Ash Bridge and must have been swept up and then gone down below the surface.
‘He was only three, that is not nice. I wouldn’t want anybody to go in that water, not at any time.
‘It’s a strong current at the moment because of all the rain we’ve had and it is really cold water all year around. We fish as much as we can down here.
‘If a young lad goes in there, I don’t think he has much chance really because it is so cold. That would do it more so than anything.
‘I think if anyone had gone in to help them they would have been in trouble themselves which is a shame, a real shame.’
Last year Dylan’s grandmother Jackie Arrowsmith posted pictures of the ‘peaceful’ Newbury canal on her social media.
Ms Nardini commented: ‘Dylan loves walking along the canal to see all the boats – lucky we have this walking distance from our house.’
Officers remain at the scene on Sunday and members of the public were urged to avoid the area
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said on Sunday: ‘Our officers were called at about 2pm yesterday following reports that a three-year-old child and his mother had fallen into the canal near Ash Bridge, close to the A339, Newbury.
‘Officers and other emergency services attended. Both the woman and child were recovered from the water and were taken to hospital for treatment.
‘Tragically, the child later died in hospital. His family are being supported by specially trained officers.
‘The child’s mother has been discharged from hospital. The death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.
‘Our thoughts are with the child’s family at this incredibly difficult time. Thames Valley Police is not currently in a position to release the child’s identity.’
Inquiries on behalf of the Berkshire coroner were last night continuing into the incident.
A pathologist will carry out a post mortem on the boy’s body to confirm the cause of his death in the next few days.
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