Wayne County man drowns while saving child in Great Smoky Mountains National Park river

CHEROKEE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Wayne County man drowned on Saturday after saving a child in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park river.

Park rangers said around 5:30 p.m. they responded to a drowning on the Oconaluftee River in Cherokee, according to ABC-affiliate WLOS.

Witnesses told park rangers Bulmaro Morales, 32, of Dudley jumped into the river to rescue a child.

When rangers arrived at the scene, the child was safe on the shore, however, Morales had not resurfaced.

Rangers along with bystanders searched for Morales.

He was later found in approximately 10 feet deep waters unresponsive.

Rangers were unable to save Morales.

Officials have not released any other details at this time.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.