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'Sleepwalking' camper falls off cliff in Red River Gorge

POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Rescue crews say a camper fell off a cliff in the Red River Gorge after sleepwalking away from his campsite Thursday morning.

"He fell approximately 60 feet, landed in an area that was littered with large boulders," said Wolfe County rope technician John May.

Powell County Emergency Management tells WKYT the Cincinnati man was camping on a cliff near Grey's Arch Trail with friends.

Rescue crews say his friends called for help around 1:15 a.m. when they realized he was missing.

"The campers who were with him found him at the bottom of a 60 foot cliff. The individual has a history of sleepwalking. So camping on a cliff ledge, that's probably what led to this incident," May said.

Powell County Search and Rescue called in the Wolfe County rescue team and four hours later they pulled the camper to safety.

May tells WKYT it was a difficult rescue because of the cliff's jagged edges and the dark and foggy conditions.

Powell County Emergency Management says the camper is at UK Hospital, where he is being treated for a head injury as well as a dislocated shoulder and fractured leg.

"It's really a miracle. He fell 60 feet into boulders and from what we've been told he should make a full recovery. It's quite remarkable," said May.

Emergency Management is not releasing the camper’s name at this time.


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