North Carolina man, son, 5, die after father tries to save drowning child

A Wayne County fishing trip went tragically awry Wednesday for the family of Sterling Holman and his child, Braylin.

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A North Carolina father and his young son both died after a fishing trip went tragically awry on Wednesday. 

Five-year-old Braylin Holman fell off the dock into the Neuse River while fishing with his father, Sterling Holman, who jumped in to save him. 

Braylin Holman, 5, fell off the dock into the Neuse River in Wayne County while fishing with his father, who jumped in to save him. The two drowned. (GoFundMe)

“The baby fell in the water, and his daddy jumped in after him,” a witness told dispatchers. “The current pushed the baby away. The daddy jumped in the water behind him, and our buddy was coming back with the boat to load our boat up, and he went to go get him.”

Crews, as well as bystanders, tried to locate the family. However, both the father and son were found dead. 

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The incident happened in Wayne County, North Carolina, where multiple crews responded, but the rapid current reportedly swept the two away. 

“It’s definitely a tough situation,” said Joel Gillie, a spokesperson for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. “Our hearts are out with the family, of course. They’re going through a lot right now. But also the witnesses that were out here yesterday. It is a tough scene.”

A cousin, Rasheda Bryant, told a local news outlet the father and son loved to fish and did so often. 

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“They just bought some new fishing poles, the little boy would get excited about coming out here fishing with his dad and spending time with him like that, so this is tragic,” Bryant said. “They’re both fighters, full of joy, I was just with them last night … so for this to be happening right now seems so unreal.”

Twenty or 30 members of the family rushed to the dock where the Holmans fell in. While they remained optimistic, they were ultimately devastated to learn of the tragic turn of events.

GoFundMe effort has been established to assist them with memorial expenses.

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