Polish rescuers join int'l operation to save American caver in Turkey

A team of Polish mountain rescuers have entered the Morca cave in Turkey as part of an operation aimed at saving an American researcher who has become trapped around 1,100 metres below the surface.

The Mountain Volunteer Search and Rescue (GOPR) team from southern Poland will deliver medicines and food to the American caver, who suddenly became ill on Monday during an expedition in the Morca cave in southern Turkey's Taurus Mountains. He had been helped by his colleagues to reach the cave base camp located at around 1,000 meters.

Polish rescuers have joined an international operation organised by the European Cave Rescue Association and the Speleological Federation of Turkey.

"Our first team has already gone down," a GOPR rescuer reported on Thursday. "Their task is to deliver medicines and food to the American. Later, together with a Bulgarian rescue team, they will prepare him for transportation on a stretcher from around 900 metres under the surface to around 700 metres.

"The second team of our rescuers has also reached the base and is waiting for the allocation of tasks," he added.

The operation to bring the man up from the depths also involves rescue teams from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy and Turkey, according to the Associated Press news agency.

The Morca cave is the third deepest in Turkey with a depth of nearly 1,200 metres.

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