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Man drowns after saving young family member

Witnesses told rangers that the man heroically jumped into the river to attempt a rescue.

CHEROKEE, N.C. — Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials say a man is dead from a drowning near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

GSMNP rangers responded to a call around 5:20 p.m. on Saturday, June 27 on the Oconaluftee River behind the Mountain Farm Museum in Cherokee, N.C.

Witnesses told rangers that a young family member was in distress and that Bulmaro Morales, 32, heroically jumped into the river to attempt a rescue.

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

Bystanders and rangers began searching finding him under 10-ft deep of water unresponsive.

Life-saving efforts were unsuccessful.

Cherokee EMS and Cherokee Fire and Rescue assisted with the incident.

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