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Mark Dickey: Rescue set to begin for caver trapped 1,000m underground

Mark Dickey: Rescue set to begin for caver trapped 1,000m underground

A US caver who fell ill more than 1,000m underground has recovered sufficiently for a rescue team to begin moving him out, a Turkish official has said.

The operation to rescue Mark Dickey could last three to four days, the official added.

The 40-year-old began suffering gastrointestinal bleeding while on an exploration mission with a handful of others inside the 4,100ft (1,276m) deep Morca cave in southern Turkey last Saturday.

Mr Dickey earlier released a video message saying he’s “up and alert but not healed on the inside”.

The New Jersey-based cave rescue group that Mr Dickey is affiliated with said he had been bleeding and losing fluid from his stomach but has now stopped vomiting.

He has also eaten for the first time in days.

It was not clear what caused the medical issue.

The US national fell ill close to the bottom of the crevice at 3,670ft (1,120m) and was later moved to a campsite at a 3,400ft (1,040m) depth.

American caver Mark Dickey is trapped in a Turkish cave

Mr Dickey is in a stable condition but he will have to stop and rest frequently at various points along the way up, said a medic who is involved in the operation.

“We have three doctors at our camp. During Mark’s transport, there will be one doctor accompanying him at all times, every minute,” said Dr. Tulga Sener.

More than 170 rescuers are on a mission to save him, with members of Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Team joined rescue teams from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Turkey late Thursday.

A map showing the cave where American Mark Dickey is trapped
Mark Dickey
Mark Dickey

The Italian organisation said six of their rescuers, including a doctor and nurse, reached Mr Dickey during the night.

A Turkish helicopter was on standby near the entrance of the cave, Turkish media reports said.

Mr Dickey’s earlier video message was the first time he has spoken publicly for the first time since the ordeal began.

In the message released by the Turkish authorities, he can be seen dressed in a red puffer jacket and using a headlamp.

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Around 150 people have been deployed to help bring Mr Dickey to safety
Around 150 people have been deployed to help bring Mr Dickey to safety

He said: “As you can see, I’m up, I’m alert, I’m talking. But I’m not healed on the inside yet, so I’m going to need a lot of help to get out of here.”

Mr Dickey added that he was “very close to the edge” when the team reached him with vital supplies.

“The caving world is a really tight-knit group, and it’s amazing to see how many people have responded on the surface,” he said.

“The quick response of the Turkish government to get the medical supplies that I needed, in my opinion, saved my life.”

Mr Dickey’s fiancee, fellow caver Jessica, has remained at his side in the cave.

Footage from the search operation showed rescuers setting up shelters inside the cave and speaking to Mr Dickey.

The cave has been divided into seven sections with various teams taking responsibility for each area.

The 40-year-old’s condition is stable and his vital signs are normal, authorities have said. Three doctors will watch him as he slowly makes his way out to safety.

Doonited Affiliated: Syndicate News Hunt

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