Cave rescuers have made significant progress in their attempt to save American explorer, who got stuck more than 3,000 feet underground when he became seriously ill during a cave descent in southern Turkey.
As of Monday, he was still more than 500 feet below the surface. But “if everything goes well,” Dickey could be “completely” rescued “by tonight or tomorrow,” the Turkish Caving Federation said in an update Monday.
The federation said Dickey would rest at a camp hundreds of feet below the surface “for a while” and that the operation will then continue.
Scores of international rescuers descended on the Morca cave system last week as the plan to save Dickey took shape. The speleologist, or cave expert, was hit with gastric pain that turned into bleeding and vomiting over a week ago while helping to chart the cave system — the country’s third deepest and sixth longest — leaving him stuck well below the surface.
Rescuers finally reached him around the middle of last week, and a long, slow ascent began. As of Monday, nearly 200 people from seven European countries and Turkey — including fellow cavers and medics — were working to save Dickey.
Rescuers transporting the explorer have already zig-zagged a path higher than New York’s Empire State Building.
“We are doing the best, but we don’t want to make any false step,” said Giuseppe Conti, chairperson of the European Cave Rescue Association Technical Commission. “We have to take everything really carefully.”