Man drowns while saving child in Cherokee, NC

North Carolina

CHEROKEE, N.C. (WSPA) – A man drowned after saving a juvenile in Cherokee, NC on Saturday.

At 5:20 p.m., Great Smoky Mountains National Park Rangers responded to a drowning in progress on the Oconaluftee River behind the Mountain Farm Museum.  

Rangers say witnesses reported that 32-year-old Bulmaro Morales, of Dudley, NC, “heroically jumped into the river” to save a juvenile family member in distress.  

When rangers arrived on scene, they said the juvenile was safe on shore but Morales had not resurfaced.  

Rangers immediately joined with bystanders to search for Morales. He was found under water, approximately 10-ft deep and unresponsive.  

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

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