A North Carolina man drowned trying to rescue a child in a Great Smoky Mountains river, park officials say.
The man, 32-year-old Bulmaro Morales, jumped in the Oconaluftee River behind the Mountain Farm Museum in Cherokee to rescue a “juvenile family member in distress,” on Saturday, according to a Sunday news release from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Just before 5:30 p.m., park rangers were called to the river about a drowning, the release says.
They found the child safe on the shore, but Morales hadn’t resurfaced, the NPS says, and rangers joined bystanders who were searching for him.
He was later found unresponsive, about 10-feet under water, the release says.
Cherokee EMS and fire rescue also responded, and life-saving efforts “were conducted but were unsuccessful,” the NPS says.