Boy, three, died after getting pulled into weir, inquest hears

Boy, three, died after getting pulled into a weir when he fell into a canal feeding ducks with his mother, inquest hears

  • Inquest has opened into the death of three-year-old Dylan Milsom in Berkshire
  • Court heard Dylan drowned after falling into canal and being dragged into weir
  • His mother Shelley Nardini jumped in after him but was unable to rescue toddler
  • Emergency services saved Shelley but were unable to rescue son Dylan in time
  • His cause of death is confirmed as drowning and full inquest will go ahead in May

A three-year-old who drowned after falling into a canal was sucked into a weir, an inquest heard.

The opening of the inquest into the death of three-year-old Dylan Milsom was held at Berkshire Coroner’s Court at Reading Town Hall today.

Assistant coroner Katy Thorne said Dylan, of Doveton Way, Newbury, had been feeding the ducks near Ash Bridge in Victoria Park when he fell in the Kennet and Avon Canal on Saturday, March 13.


Dylan Milsom (left) and his mother Shelley Nardini (right) were by the Kennet and Avon Canal in Newbury, Berkshire, when he fell in and was dragged into the weir, a coroner’s court heard

Locals left floral tributes to the young boy in the wake of his death and more than 5,000 people have signed petition to encourage new safety measures around the weir in Newbury, Berkshire

His mother jumped into the river after him and both of them were pulled into the weir. Passers-by called the emergency services.

His mother was pulled through the weir and resurfaced on the other side.

She was rescued but Dylan was not found ‘for some time’, according to the coroner.

He was flown by air ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where he died.

Emergency service workers were able to rescue Shelley but were unable to find Dylan and he died a short while later in hospital. Pictured: Emergency services on the scene last weekend

His cause of death has been confirmed as drowning.

Ms Thorne said she’d ‘like to record her sincere condolences to Dylan’s friends and family at this time’.

A tribute from the family said: ‘Dylan was such a bright, clever and inquisitive boy who absorbed all that was around him.

‘He was always desperate to learn about everything he could, be it letters, numbers, or colours, and when asked, he would always say his favourite colours were yellow, orange, pink and purple – a very bright mix, fitting for such a bright boy.’

Dylan’s parents released a tribute to their son, describing him as their ‘rainbow baby’

More than 5,000 people signed a petition asking for more safety measures around the canal following the tragedy.

West Berkshire Council is now looking at ways to prevent future incidents.

In the wake of Dylan’s death the Canal and River Trust said it had spoken with a number of agencies with a view to establishing a partnership to ensure the canal through Newbury was as safe as possible. 

The trust is also investigating to identify any ‘immediate measures to improve safety along the canal’. 

A full inquest will be held on Tuesday, May 18.

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