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.