Park rangers: Man drowns after trying to save young relative

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FILE: Oconaluftee River at the Mountain Farm Museum in Cherokee, NC (Photo: WLOS)

CHEROKEE, NC (AP) — A man has died after jumping into a river in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to help a young relative.

That’s according to park rangers who say just before 5:30 p.m. Saturday, they responded to the scene of a drowning in progress on the Oconaluftee River in Cherokee, North Carolina.

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Local news outlets report witnesses said 32-year-old Bulmaro Morales had jumped in to help a juvenile family member who was in distress.

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

He was later found under water, and life-saving efforts were not successful.