Man trapped in cave after being ‘close to edge’ now halfway to escape
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A man who is trapped in a cave in Turkey is now halfway to escaping, as an extensive international rescue effort continues.
After becoming trapped almost 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) below the cave’s entrance, a desperate rescue mission has been underway, with an international team comprising Turkish authorities and more than 150 cave rescue experts.
After they managed to reach Dickey, it became clear that it could still take days or even weeks to get him safely out of the cave on a stretcher, with the Speleological Federation of Turkey saying it would take 'a full 15 hours for an experienced caver to reach the surface in ideal conditions'.
In a video obtained by the Associated Press, he said: "Hi. Mark Dickey from nearly a thousand meters.
"The caving world is a really tight-knit group and it’s amazing to see how many people have responded on the surface.
"We’re still waiting for communications actually to reach down here. So right now it’s a day or two days of travel for information to get back and forth. I don’t quite know what’s happened, but I do know that the quick response of the Turkish government to get the medical supplies that I need, in my opinion, saved my life. I was very close to the edge."
While there is still some way to go, the rescue team have now confirmed Dickey has made it halfway out of the deep cave system.
In an update on Sunday (10 September), the Speleological Federation of Turkey said on X: “Mark is now at -500 meters as of 19:08, local time (GMT +3). Half of the rescue distance is over.”
Giuseppe Conti, European Cave Rescue Association technical commission chairperson, also told reporters: “Our medical team is working really hard to try to keep Mark’s condition as stable as possible.
“Since yesterday [Saturday], we started lifting the stretcher and transporting him through the cave.”
“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.”
Yusuf Ogrenecek, of the Speleological Federation of Turkey, said one of the most difficult aspects of Dickey's rescue was widening narrow cave passages so that the team can move him through on the stretcher.
“Stretcher lines are labor intensive and require experienced cave rescuers working long hours,” Ogrenecek said, adding that other tricky factors include navigating through mud and water at low temperatures and the adverse psychological effects of staying inside a cave for long periods of time.
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Mark Dickey / European Cave Rescue Association
Topics: World News