Stranded woman, dogs rescued from steep bank near Ludington

The Detroit News
U.S. Coast Guard Air Facility Muskegon's MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew rescued the pair on Friday.

Coast Guard and fire rescue teams saved a woman and her dogs on Friday after they were stranded on a sandy bluff along Lake Michigan.

The woman, her husband and three pets spent Thursday night at the bottom of the bluff, near Ludington, after they couldn’t climb up the loose soil and sand, the U.S. Coast Guard 9th District said in a statement.

The couple had cellphones but not enough coverage to reach first responders, according to the release.

The husband climbed out Friday and alerted authorities.

The woman and her husband had been walking their dogs along the bluff Thursday night when the soil gave way and the couple fell down the cliff to the shoreline.

Weather conditions and the shallow water depth prevented a Coast Guard response boat from reaching the bluff and Ludington fire department high angle rescue teams were unable to pull the stranded group out due to the steep terrain and loose ground, officials said.

The Coast Guard launched a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from a facility in Muskegon and a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Traverse City to help.

Once on scene, the first helicopter successfully hoisted the woman and one of her dogs at 12:44 p.m. A fire rescue team retrieved the other two dogs.

The woman was later flown to Mason County Airport in Ludington. No injuries were reported.