Salisbury teen drowns at Bullhole

Published 9:10 am Thursday, September 6, 2018

A Salisbury teen drowned Saturday at The Bullhole, while his parents and other family members were watching.

Brayan Odair Hernandez-Benitez, 17, was pronounced dead at the scene, said interim Cooleemee police chief, Kevin Barker.

Barker said the teen was playing under the falls at the dam when he went under. His body was recovered about 200 yards downstream.

Family members said he was not a good swimmer.

“It was full speed all the way across,” Barker said of the water, which increases its flow over the dam after a rain and when not being diverted for the hydroelectric plant.

The call came in at 6:02 p.m., Barker checked on the scene at 6:07 and the body was recovered at 6:35. Quite a few people were at the park at the time of the incident, he said. Davie and Rowan rescue squads and sheriff’s departments assisted.