A major rescue operation is underway in Turkey for an American scientist trapped in a cave more than a kilometer deep. 40-year-old cave explorer Mark Dickey was on a research mission in southeastern Turkey when he suffered a stomach haemorrhage.
According to the Turkish rescue organization TUMAF, more than 170 people from different countries are involved in the rescue operation. These include Croats, Hungarians, Italians, Poles and Turks. The relief effort consists of several parts, with each country responsible for one part. The entire operation can take days or even weeks. The conditions in the cave are tough: it is only 4 to 6 degrees.
A number of rescuers have now reached Dickey:
Dickey was on a mission to map the Morca cave system in the Taurus Mountains when a stomach hemorrhage struck him. A Hungarian rescue team performed blood transfusions on site. A telephone connection has also been set up with him. His condition has now improved somewhat and he has eaten for the first time in a few days.
Whether it is possible to get the researcher outside without a stretcher is being investigated. Furthermore, rescuers are busy widening the passages in the cave. Special places will also be set up along the evacuation route where Dickey and emergency responders can rest.
Dickey himself has also released a video in which he thanks the rescuers and the Turkish authorities for their efforts. “As you can see, I’m alert and talking. But I’m not healed inside yet, so I’m going to need a lot of help to get out of this.”