An American researcher, Mark Dickey, was exploring a cave in southeastern Turkey when, at a depth of over a thousand meters, he fell ill. Dickey has had a gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and is unable to get out of the cave. Outside the cave, numerous rescuers are gathering and trying to bring it back to the surface: the operation, which includes more than 170 people, could take up to two or three weeks, according to Yusuf Ogrenecek, a member of the Turkish Speleological Federation interviewed by Associated Press.
Dickey is an expert caver and rescuer himself. He started feeling sick on September 2, and has been stuck in the cave ever since. According to Ogrenecek, his conditions are improving and he is “in a good mood”. Doctors are evaluating whether to get him out of the cave on a stretcher or if he will be able to make it on his own strength. Nonetheless, the operation will still require considerable effort: several passages will have to be widened to allow him to pass, and work is being done on the risk of falling rocks.
The operation participates in a international team, which includes the speleological rescue services of Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia and Poland. The Hungarians were the first to arrive, and they’ve already given Dickey a blood transfusion. The cave has been divided into various sections and each village will take care of one of them. It is hoped that Dickey’s drawing can start on Saturday or Sunday: precisely because it will take several days, more stopping points are being prepared. The main difficulties, in addition to the great depth of the cave, concern the health conditions of the researcher and the creation of lighting and communication systems to assist the rescuers.