English Heritage close Nunney Castle in Somerset after toddler almost drowned in moat

  • Watch Victoria Davies' report

A toddler had to be airlifted to hospital after almost drowning in a castle moat in Somerset.

Three-year-old Quade was visiting Nunney Castle with his family when he disappeared from sight.

His father, Nick Ballinger, realised he must have slipped under the water of the moat and jumped into find him with the help of Quade's uncle, Mark Britton.

Mark pulled him out after around two minutes, by which point Nick says Quade was "limp, pale and blue in the face".

"He was not breathing," Nick added.

Quade's grandmother is a nurse and was able to resuscitate him while they waited for an ambulance.

Quade was airlifted to Bristol Children's Hospital Credit: Lauren Pinkett

The water in the moat is currently covered in a layer of bright green algae, making it almost indistinguishable from the surrounding grass to a child's eye.

The castle, near Frome, is free to enter and is not normally staffed.

English Heritage have now closed it to the public following the incident.

The moat is currently covered in algae Credit: Lauren Pinkett

Quade was airlifted to Bristol Children's Hospital and his mother Lauren Pinkett says he is now recovering "remarkably well" but wants to warn others of the dangers of open water, and hopes sharing their story will help.

She said: "Even if this saves just one child in the future it will be beneficial."

The family have started a fundraiser for Wiltshire Air Ambulance as a thank you to the paramedics who came to Quade's aid.

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