10 September 2023

Turkey mission to rescue trapped caver advances to 2,300ft

10 September 2023

Rescue teams in Turkey have successfully carried an American researcher trapped 3,410ft (1,040m) deep in a cave to the 2,297ft (700m) mark where he will rest at a base camp before they continue the taxing journey to the surface.

Experienced caver Mark Dickey started vomiting on September 2 because of stomach bleeding while on an expedition with a handful of others in the Morca Cave in the Taurus Mountains, one of the deepest in the world, according to experts.

A rescue operation began on Saturday afternoon, with doctors, paramedics and experienced cavers from across Europe rushing to help.

They set up small medical base camps at various levels along the shaft to provide 40-year-old Mr Dickey with an opportunity to rest during the slow and arduous extrication.

The Speleological Federation of Turkey wrote on its official account on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday: “Mark was delivered to the campsite at minus 700 metres as of 03.24 local time (GMT+3). At this stage, he will set out again after resting and having the necessary treatments.”

Turkish authorities said 190 personnel from eight countries are taking part in the mission, 153 of them search and rescue experts.

The most challenging part of the operation is widening the narrow cave passages to allow stretcher lines to pass through at low depths, Yusuf Ogrenecek, of the Speleological Federation, previously said.

The extraction is expected to take up to 10 days depending on Mr Dickey’s condition.

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