GSMNP: Man drowns after saving juvenile on the Oconaluftee River

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CHEROKEE, N.C. (WATE) – Great Smoky Mountain National Park reports rangers were at the Oconaluftee River on Saturday where a 32-year-old man drowned.

Just before 5:30 p.m. Saturday, rangers responded to the scene of a drowning in progress on the Oconaluftee River behind the Mountain Farm Museum in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Witnesses at the scene say that 32-year-old Bulmaro Morales of Dudley, N.C., jumped into the river in order to save a juvenile family member that was in distress.

When rangers arrived, the juvenile was safe on shore, however, Morales had not resurfaced.

Rangers and bystanders eventually found Morales under water, approximately 10-feet deep, unresponsive.

Rangers attempted to conduct life-saving efforts but were unsuccessful.

No additional information is available at this time.


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