Fire department, Coast Guard personnel rescue woman, dogs stranded on shoreline.

July 19, 2019

USCG photo

Fire department, Coast Guard personnel rescue woman, dogs stranded on shoreline.

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PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — A woman and her dogs were rescued Friday morning after she had been stranded on Lake Michigan’s shoreline at the bottom of a bluff. The rescue efforts included personnel from Pere Marquette Township Fire Department, Ludington Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard personnel.

The woman and her husband had been hiking with their three dogs along the bluff near Lake Michigan, Thursday. They descended the cliff to the shoreline but were unable to climb back up due to loose soil and sand.

The couple had their cell phones but, due to lack of coverage, were unable to notify first responders. The couple spent the night on the shoreline. Friday morning, the husband was able to climb out and call Mason-Oceana 911. 

USCG photo

Pere Marquette Township Fire Department was dispatched to the scene shortly before 10 a.m. About 10:15 a.m., Coast Guard Station Ludington’s 29-foot response boat and a land crew from Station Ludington responded to the scene to assist. The small boat was unable to get near the bluff due to small craft advisory conditions and the shallow depth of water.

Ludington Fire Department’s high angle rescue team rappelled down to the stranded woman but encountered difficulties because of the steep terrain and loose ground.

The Coast Guard launched a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Facility Muskegon and later, a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City to assist. Once both helicopters were on scene it was determined that the dolphin helicopter would conduct the rescue and successfully hoisted the woman and one of her dogs at 12:44 p.m.

The fire rescue team was able to rescue the remaining two dogs. One of the fire team members suffered a leg injury while descending the bluff, according to a news release from the Coast Guard. The member was given a life jacket and waded into the water to be assisted onto the small boat and transported to local EMS on shore.

The woman was flown to Mason County Airport. No other injuries were reported.

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