Boy, 3, SURVIVES being submerged for 3 minutes after accidentally plunging into moss-covered moat he thought was grass

A THREE-year-old boy survived after being submerged for three minutes when he accidentally plunged into a castle moat.

Quade Ballinger fell into the still, dark water at Nunney Castle, Frome, Somerset on Saturday after his family believe he mistook its weed-covered surface for grass.

He was eventually fished out by frantic members of his family and then given CPR by his nurse grandmother before being rushed to hospital.

The 14th Century castle has now been closed by English Heritage which is investigating the incident.

Quade's emotional dad Nick described the terrifying incident, saying: "Never have I been so frightened and so ecstatic at the same time.

"It sounds so silly but I would just like to raise a little awareness to how quickly a peaceful walk around a 700-year-old castle can quickly turn your life upside down.

"In the 20 seconds that I had my back to my little boy he had fallen into the moat."

He said that his nephew Daniel Britton, 10, noticed Quade was nowhere to be seen and raised the alarm.

Never have I been so frightened and so ecstatic at the same time

The dad said: "All of my remarkable family leapt into search mode to find him.

"Leaving only one place Quade could be – in the water. We believe he thought the moat was grass."

His brother-in-law, Mark Britton, jumped into the water – without taking a moment to remove clothes or empty his pockets.

And he recounted: "As I began to fear the worst suddenly I saw Mark holding my son above his head like a trophy.

"He was limp, pale and blue in the face he was not breathing. He had spent the best part of two minutes under water."

Nick's mum, Jayne, who spent 6 weeks in hospital with Covid-19 at the beginning of the year gave Quade CPR and resuscitated him at the scene before paramedics arrived.


A spokesman for English Heritage which runs Nunney Castle said: “English Heritage is taking this incident very seriously.

"The charity has temporarily closed the castle and is looking at what steps can be taken to prevent something like this happening again.

"Our hearts go out to the young boy and all his family, we have asked his parents to get in touch with us directly so we can hear from them what happened – we completely understand their concerns and if they would like us to keep them updated, we are very happy to do so.”

"Like the majority of the sites in English Heritage’s care, Nunney Castle is a free-to-enter site which means that there is no staff present on a daily basis.

"A medieval castle, Nunney Castle in Somerset dates from the 1370s.

"Much modernised in the late 16th century, the castle was besieged and damaged by the Parliamentarians in 1645, during the English Civil War. "

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