Teen survives 80-100 feet fall from Michigan cliff

August 31, 2011 - 12:15 PM
Cliff Fall-Marquette

Rescue crews work to bring a Gwinn teen into a U.S. Coast Guard boat this afternoon at Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Mich. The 17-year-old fell from a place along the cliffs 70 feet or higher, according to police. She is being examined at the Marquette General Hospital emergency room and was conscious. (AP Photo/The Mining Journal, John Pepin)

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — A 17-year-old girl is expected to survive after falling up to 100 feet from a rock cliff at a Lake Superior shoreline park in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, police said today.

Katherine Scarlet O'Brien had been walking with friends north of a scenic lookout platform at Presque Isle Park on Tuesday when she got too close to the edge.

"The gravel slid away from her feet," Marquette Police Capt. Gordon Warchock told The Mining Journal of Marquette.

Friends heard the girl call out and then heard sounds of her falling from the ledge. The drop-off was between 80 and 100 feet, Warchock told The Associated Press.

O'Brien, who lives in nearby Gwinn, was found lying amid large boulders and rock debris along the lakeshore.

Warchock told The Mining Journal she suffered rib, arm and spleen injuries. She underwent surgery and is recovering at Marquette General Hospital, he said.

"I think she's doing well considering," he told the AP.

Marquette firefighters lowered ropes and went down the cliff face to reach O'Brien. They talked with her while other helpers were on the way.

"They got down to her fairly quickly," Warchock said.

After a U.S. Coast Guard boat arrived, crews put O'Brien on a stretcher and moved her to the boat. She was rushed to an ambulance at the Upper Harbor marina.

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Information from: The Mining Journal, http://www.miningjournal.net