A man trapped deep in a cave in Turkey may reach the surface tonight or tomorrow morning, but rescuers admit their mission to save him is ‘tricky’.
Mark Dickey, a researcher and experienced caver from the US, began suffering gastrointestinal bleeding at 1,000 metres underground while exploring the Morca cave in the Taurus mountains on September 2.
Around 190 rescuers and doctors from across Europe have rushed help the 40-year-old, with the first doctor, a Hungarian, reaching him the following day.
He has since had at least one doctor and a small team of people caring for him at all times and has received IV fluids and four litres of blood.
This weekend rescuers began the task of moving him to the surface on a stretcher, and according to medical coordinator Tulga Sener, Mr Dickey could be out within hours.
However, one of the rescue’s technical coordinators, Giuseppe Conti, admitted the mission was ‘a bit tricky’ because section of the cave he’s in has a web of slopes and around a metre of flood water.
Turkey’s disaster management agency previously said it could take up to 10 days to bring Mr Dickey back to the surface because he’ll need to stop and rest regularly.
Speaking on Saturday, Ali Hamza Pehlivan, governor of Mersin, said Mr Dickey’s condition was improving ‘thanks to medical intervention’ and that he was ‘stable’.
Turkish authorities shared a video which showed Mr Dickey standing and moving around on Thursday.
While alert and talking, he said he was not ‘healed on the inside’ and needed a lot of help to get out of the cave.
He can not currently eat through his mouth and is fed intravenously.
Mr Dickey thanked the caving community and the Turkish government for their efforts to rescue him.
The Morca cave is the third deepest in Turkey and the 38th deepest in the world.
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