NC man drowns saving young relative in Smokies

A North Carolina man drowned Saturday in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after jumping in to the water to save a young relative.

Park officials said that at at approximately 5:20 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, Rangers responded to a drowning in progress on the Oconaluftee River behind the Mountain Farm Museum in Cherokee, NC.  

Witnesses reported that a young man, 32-year-old Bulmaro Morales of Dudley NC, had heroically jumped into the river to save a juvenile family member in distress.  

When rangers arrived on scene the juvenile was safe on shore, but Morales had not resurfaced. Rangers immediately joined with bystanders to search for Morales, who was found unresponsive under approximately 10 feet of water.

Life-saving efforts were conducted but were unsuccessful.  Cherokee EMS and Cherokee Fire and Rescue assisted with the incident.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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