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.