North Carolina

‘He was blue.’ Bystanders save man under water for 3 minutes at falls, NC officials say

Bystanders saved a man from drowning at a North Carolina waterfall on Sunday, officials say.

The 31-year-old man was under water for about three minutes at Hooker Falls in DuPont State Park before bystanders were able to pull him out of the water and perform CPR, said Mickey Honeycutt, a staff lieutenant at Cedar Mountain Fire Rescue.

Leanne Wampler, who witnessed the incident, told WLOS the man’s family was crying and screaming for him to wake up.

“He was blue, so I did not think he was going to make it and I took the baby from a family member, because it looked like she was going to drop the baby,” Wampler said, according to WLOS.

Honeycutt said that when responders arrived, the man was breathing but unconscious.

He was taken to Mission Hospital, where he is still recovering as of Monday, Honeycutt said.

Dale Oestmann, with Cedar Mountain Fire Rescue, told WLOS that the man may have died if not for the people who performed CPR.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.