Heat-exhausted woman airlifted from sand dunes

A severely dehydrated woman got a lift via Coast Guard helicopter after becoming ill while hiking in the sand dunes at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park Saturday afternoon.
Becky Vargo
Jun 29, 2014


The unidentified woman was transferred via the bright orange helicopter to paramedics waiting at the Muskegon County Airport.

Officials said the helicopter diverted from a training operation, at about 12:40 p.m., to make the rescue because local first responders could not evacuate the woman by land due to the rough terrain.

Norton Shores firefighters directed the air crew into position. A rescue swimmer was lowered 140 feet from the hovering helicopter. The woman was placed into a basket and hoisted into the helicopter.

The rescue swimmer followed and provided initial care while in flight.

"This was a great team rescue effort and we are always willing to help out our fellow first responders because it is the safety of the patient or victim that matters most," said Lt. Cmdr. Steve McCullough, the rescue helicopter pilot.


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