Door County Advocate

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was provided to the EagleHerald. Our staff contributed information.

ELLISON BAY, Wis. — A 23-year-old Porterfield woman was injured Saturday in a fall from a cliff in northern Door County, according to the Door County Sheriff’s Department.

Ashley A. Anderson is in stable condition in intensive care at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, her father Mark told the EagleHerald.

Anderson appeared to have a head injury and was unconscious when she was rescued. The sheriff’s report released Monday morning described her condition as “unresponsive.”

“We were very impressed with all the efforts of everyone involved,” Mark Anderson told the Advocate. “The services provided were top notch.”

According to the sheriff’s report, agencies responded at 11:11 a.m. Saturday to a 911 call that a 23-year-old woman had fallen off the 75-foot portion of the bluff at Ellison Bay County Bluff Park.

When the first deputy responded, he found two women and a man standing near the overlook. Amy L. Anderson of Marinette was below the bluff calling down to her sister, Ashley, who had fallen down the escarpment and was injured. Amy told the deputy she could not see her sister and had lost verbal contact with her about 10 to 15 minutes earlier.

Several other agencies were contacted to assist in rescuing both women, including the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department, which began assembling rappelling equipment to rescue Amy, who was unable to make it up the steep incline, the report said.

Mike Neal, a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden, and paramedics responded by boat to rescue Ashley from the water of Green Bay along the bluff. Following instructions from above, they found Ashley, who had fallen 60 to 75 feet onto a rock ledge from a steep bluff overlooking the bay.

Sister Bay/Liberty Grove firefighters and emergency responders scaled about a 30-foot escarpment from below to reach Ashley. She was put onto a long board, then lowered and carried with baskets and rope to the beach below. She was put in a DNR patrol boat and taken to Sister Bay, then airlifted to the Green Bay hospital.

The Anderson sisters had stopped at the overlook at the park while sightseeing with their mother, Connie M. Anderson, and their grandmother, Christine M. Salewsky, both of Marinette. The young women found a dirt trail that leads to the south from the observation deck area and decided to walk the unmaintained trail near the bluff’s edge.

Amy was walking behind Ashley and at some point, Ashley indicated the flip flops she was wearing were not good for walking, the report said. Amy saw her sister rolling off the cliff and falling to the ledge far below. The isolated area on the bottom of the bluff and the terrain made it difficult to reach them.

“She was in a very difficult, challenging location,” Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht said.

Anderson is a 2009 graduate of Marinette High School. She earned junior college all-state basketball recognition in 2010 at UW-Marinette.