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Coast Guard rescues woman and dogs from bottom of sand bluff near Ludington

The woman was walking with her husband and their three dogs when they were stranded at the bottom of the bluff.

LUDINGTON, Mich. — The U.S. Coast Guard used a helicopter crew to rescue a woman and her dog after they were stranded on Lake Michigan's shoreline at the bottom of a sand bluff near Ludington. 

The woman and her husband were hiking along the bluff near Lake Michigan with their three dogs Thursday. They climbed down the cliff to the shoreline, but loose soil and sand made it difficult for the woman to climb back up. 

The couple had cell phones with them, but neither of them had service. They spent the night on the shoreline and on Friday morning, the husband was able to climb out a notify law enforcement. 

Credit: U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard Air Facility Muskegon's MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew rescued a woman and her dog after she had been stranded on Lake Michigan's shoreline at the bottom of a sand bluff, near Ludington, Michigan, Friday. The woman and her husband had been walking their three dogs along the bluff near Lake Michigan Thursday night when the soil gave way and the couple fell down the cliff to the shoreline.

Around 10:15 a.m. the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan launched Coast Guard Station Ludington's 29-foot response boat and a small land crew to assess the situation. 

The small boat could not get near the bluff because of conditions and the shallow depth of water. Ludington's fire department deployed its high angle rescue team to rappel down to the woman, but they were unable to reach her because of the steep terrain and the loose ground. 

Helicopters from both the Coast Guard facility in Muskegon and Traverse City were called in to assist. 

A MH-65 Dolphin helicopter conducted the rescue and the woman and one of the dogs were hoisted out at 12:44 p.m on Friday. 

The fire rescue team was able to rescue the remaining two dogs. One member of the fire team suffered a leg injury while descending the bluff. 

No other injuries were reported.

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