Sleepwalking Cincinnati man survives 60-foot fall - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Sleepwalking Cincinnati man survives 60-foot fall

Ryan Campbell spoke with FOX19 NOW on Wednesday. Ryan Campbell spoke with FOX19 NOW on Wednesday.
Volunteer rescuers retrieved Campbell from the bottom of the cliff. (Provided) Volunteer rescuers retrieved Campbell from the bottom of the cliff. (Provided)
(FOX19) -

Ryan Campbell says he fell asleep in a hammock at the Red River Gorge last week, but woke up at the bottom of a 60-foot cliff.

It was a quick overnight camping trip with three of his closest friends, Campbell says. They had hiked the Red River Gorge near Lexington, Kentucky several times but just an hour after he went to sleep, his friends watched him sleepwalk off the edge of a cliff.

"He just saw me keep walking and started yelling ‘dude watch out for the edge' and that is when he saw me just step and disappear and then he said he didn't hear anything for a few seconds and then heard the thump when I hit the bottom," said Campbell.

By the looks of him minus the black eye Campbell is perfectly fine. Pretty remarkable considering the 60 foot fall he took early Thursday morning.

"I mean the next thing I remember after going to sleep is waking up at the bottom of the cliff," said Campbell.

It took volunteer rescuers with Wolf and Powell counties three hours to find him in the dark and another hour to pull him back up the mountain.

"When I came to and realized I wasn't dead my first thought was it's amazing I'm alive. I hope I stay that way," said Campbell.

In fact, he is alive and well. Only bumps, bruises and a sore back. Rescuers credit a relaxed body and bush for softening the landing but Campbell credits the volunteers who got out of bed in the middle of the night, left their homes and pulled him to safety.

"They all volunteer and they are all under funded and I'd love for people to go checkout their Facebook page and see if there is anything they can do to help those guys because they saved me and they've saved others and I'm far from the first one that has gone through this and I won't be the last," said Campbell.

Campbell says he's only sleepwalked one other time as an adult and that was 8 eight years ago after a knee surgery. He says while he plans to camp and hike again, he may steer clear of sleeping near cliffs for a while.

Wolf County Search & Rescue Team and Powell Search & Rescue are volunteer organizations made up of local climbers with a variety of professions who regularly respond to falls at Red River Gorge on a volunteer basis.

Representatives say funds and equipment are limited with most of their support coming from donations. For more on how you can contribute, visit their Facebook pages.

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