The cost to rescue stranded hikers at one notorious spot in Sleeping Bear Dunes has more than tripled.
In past years, if you found yourself stuck at the bottom of the 450-foot-tall Number Nine Overlook dune, you would have had to pay just under $700 for rescue..this year the price tag has jumped to over $2,000.
Brian Ferguson is chief of the Glen Lake Fire Department. He said because of high lake levels, the fire department has had to adapt its rescue operations.
“When the water level was low, we could just drive an ATV down the beach. But now that the water levels are high, we can’t get down the beach...because the beach is all washed away...which entails us rigging up ropes and mechanical advantage and everything to bring the patients up to the top.”
Ferguson said a recently-formed volunteer organization has been informing visitors about the menacing climb, and there have only been three rescues so far this summer. That number used to be higher than sixty per summer.