North Carolina man found dead in river after jumping in to save son

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A 38-year-old North Carolina dad who was last seen jumping off a dock into the Neuse River last week after his son had fallen in was found dead Wednesday morning, according to local media.

Sterling Holman and his 5-year-old son Braylin had gone night fishing at Goldsboro Boating Access Area off U.S. 117, about 60 miles southeast of Raleigh, on March 24.

A 911 caller reported seeing the boy fall in and get swept away in the current at around 8 p.m. – then told dispatchers the father jumped in after him.

NORTH CAROLINA 5-YEAR-OLD’S BODY FOUND IN RIVER, FATHER MISSING AFTER FISHING TRIP

“The baby fell in the water and his daddy jumped in after him,” the caller said on an audio recording to the call. “The current pushed the baby away. The daddy jumped in the water behind him.”

A nearby boater was unable to find the duo and responding search and rescue crews from multiple nearby counties eventually suspended the search until the next morning due to fog and nightfall.

They recovered Braylin’s body on Monday afternoon.

Holman’s remains were found in the river Wednesday just before noon, the Goldsboro Daily News reported.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they deal with this difficult situation,” Wayne County Sheriff Larry Pierce told the paper. “I would also like to thank the many citizens and businesses who brought food and donations to our responders during this extended response.”

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He said search crews from numerous volunteer fire departments, private entities, schools and four counties took part in combing the river for the missing father and son.

Experts say night fishing can carry additional risks, especially in unfamiliar areas. They recommend always using the buddy system, carrying lights and wearing personal flotation devices.

Children especially should avoid entering the water, particularly when there is a risk of strong currents.

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