Turkish cave rescue: US scientist Mark Dickey on the way back to the surface

Key Points
  • The American researcher suffered a stomach bleed in a cave in south Turkey.
  • Rescue teams from across Europe have been attempting to get him out.
  • The extraction process could take up to 10 days.
Rescue teams in Turkey have successfully carried an American researcher up from the depth of a cave at 1040 metres to the 700m mark, where he will rest at a base camp before they continue the taxing journey to the surface.
An experienced caver, Mark Dickey, 40, started vomiting on September 2 because of stomach bleeding while on an expedition with a handful of others in the Morca cave in southern Turkey’s Taurus Mountains, one of the deepest in the world, according to experts.

A rescue operation began on Saturday afternoon with doctors, paramedics and experienced cavers from across Europe rushing to help.

They set up small medical base camps at various levels along the shaft, providing Dickey an opportunity to rest during the slow and arduous extrication.
The Speleological Federation of Turkey wrote on its official account on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday: “Mark was delivered to the campsite at minus 700 metres as of 03:24 local time (GMT+3),”

“At this stage, he will set out again after resting and having the necessary treatments.”

A man in a red puffer jacket with a headtorch, inside a cave

In this screen grab from video, American caver Mark Dickey, 40, talks to camera next to a colleague inside the Morca cave near Anamur, southern Turkey. Source: AAP / Turkish Government Directorate of Communications

Turkish authorities said 190 personnel from eight countries were taking part in the operation, 153 of them search and rescue experts.

The most challenging part of the rescue operation is widening the narrow cave passages to allow stretcher lines to pass through at low depths, Yusuf Ogrenecek of the speleological federation previously said.

The extraction is expected to take up to 10 days, depending on Dickey’s condition.

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