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US caver who became trapped 1,000 metres deep in Turkey is moved halfway to surface

US caver who became trapped 1,000 metres deep in Turkey is moved halfway to surface

Monday, September 11, 2023, 14:11 GMT+7
US caver who became trapped 1,000 metres deep in Turkey is moved halfway to surface
Rescuers descend to the entrance of Morca Cave as they take part in a rescue operation to reach U.S. caver Mark Dickey who fell ill and became trapped some 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) underground, near Anamur in Mersin province, southern Turkey September 10, 2023. Photo: Reuters

MERSIN, Turkey -- Rescuers raced on Sunday to rescue an American caver who had become trapped more than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) underground in southern Turkey, moving him halfway to the surface.

Mark Dickey, 40, was on an international exploration expedition in the Morca cave in Mersin province's Taurus mountains when he began suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding at a depth of 1,040 metres.

More than 150 rescuers from Turkey and other countries have been working for days to rescue him from the country's third deepest cave.

Rescuers work at the entrance of Morca Cave as they take part in a rescue operation to reach U.S. caver Mark Dickey who fell ill and became trapped some 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) underground, near Anamur in Mersin province, southern Turkey September 10, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Rescuers work at the entrance of Morca Cave as they take part in a rescue operation to reach U.S. caver Mark Dickey who fell ill and became trapped some 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) underground, near Anamur in Mersin province, southern Turkey September 10, 2023. Photo: Reuters

"Our medical team is working really hard to try to keep Mark's condition as stable as possible. Since yesterday, we started lifting the stretcher and transporting him through the cave," Giuseppe Conti, European Cave Rescue Association technical commission chairperson, told reporters.

"We have to do it very carefully because we cannot risk any conditions worsening (for) Mark. So we must pay attention metre after metre. Currently, the stretcher is about ... 500 metres from the surface."

A rescuer stands at the entrance of Morca Cave as they take part in a rescue operation to reach U.S. caver Mark Dickey who fell ill and became trapped some 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) underground, near Anamur in Mersin province, southern Turkey. Photo: Reuters

A rescuer stands at the entrance of Morca Cave as they take part in a rescue operation to reach U.S. caver Mark Dickey who fell ill and became trapped some 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) underground, near Anamur in Mersin province, southern Turkey. Photo: Reuters

Dickey's fiancee, Jessica Van Ord, who was with him during the expedition, has been staying at the camp site and working with the rescue teams.

"A medical doctor will accompany him the whole way. Right now, Italian doctors are accompanying him along the route. Mark's medical condition right now is very good," said Tulga Sener, medical coordinator for the cave rescue commission.

Cenk Yildiz, Mersin provincial head of Turkey's AFAD disaster management authority, said Dickey would be brought out in two to three days "if they don't experience any problems".

Rescuers descend to the entrance of Morca Cave as they take part in a rescue operation to reach U.S. caver Mark Dickey who fell ill and became trapped some 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) underground, near Anamur in Mersin province, southern Turkey September 10, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Rescuers descend to the entrance of Morca Cave as they take part in a rescue operation to reach U.S. caver Mark Dickey who fell ill and became trapped some 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) underground, near Anamur in Mersin province, southern Turkey September 10, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Jessica Van Ord, girlfriend of U.S. caver Mark Dickey, listens as she is informed about the latest developments of the rescue operation, by a group of Italian rescuers, to reach Dickey who fell ill and became trapped some 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) underground, near Anamur in Mersin province, southern Turkey September 10, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Jessica Van Ord, girlfriend of U.S. caver Mark Dickey, listens as she is informed about the latest developments of the rescue operation, by a group of Italian rescuers, to reach Dickey who fell ill and became trapped some 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) underground, near Anamur in Mersin province, southern Turkey September 10, 2023. Photo: Reuters

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