Skip to content

An American rescued from a cave in Turkey after being trapped for days

After being trapped for days at a depth of 4,186 feet in Morca Cave in Mersin, Turkey, American caver Mark Dickey was rescued on September 12.

(CNN) – A dramatic and complex international rescue operation to save an American man from one of Turkey’s deepest caves ended successfully on Tuesday, more than a week after he fell seriously ill and became too frail to climb out not

A seasoned and experienced caver, Mark Dickey, 40, had been part of a research team on an exploration mission to Morca Cave when he reportedly began suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding.

The cave is located in the Taurus Mountains in southern Turkey and reaches depths of up to 1,276 meters (4,186 feet).

A major rescue effort was launched involving several teams of experienced cavers from around the world along with Turkish specialists.

American speleologist Mark Dickey, 40, had been trapped inside the Morca hole in southern Turkey. (Turkey Government Communications Directorate/AP)

“Mark Dickey is in the hands of a rescue worker (and) looks fine at first glance,” Recep Salci of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said on Tuesday as footage emerged of Dickey walking out from the cave with a stretcher. smile on your face

Speaking near the cave of a medical tent, Dickey said it was “amazing to be back on land” and thanked rescue teams and the Turkish government for saving his life with “literally no questions asked”.

“I was underground a lot longer than I ever expected with an unexpected medical problem,” he said.

“I don’t know exactly what happened, but I do know that the quick response of the Turkish government to get the medical supplies I needed saved my life in my opinion. I was very close to the edge,” he added..

Dickey’s parents, Debbie and Andy, praised the success of the rescue operation, saying the news that their son was safe was “indescribably relieved and fills us with incredible joy”.

Members of the Italian Alpine Rescue, pictured on Thursday, take part in an emergency operation to save Dickey. (Italian Alpine Rescue/Reuters)

“It is an event that everyone involved in the extensive rescue effort has worked very hard for,” they said, adding that there had been a “tremendous outpouring of help” – also thanking the Turkish government.

“Mark is strong and we believe in his strength, but we were fully aware that he needed enormous and immediate support,” they said.

The cave where Dickey was trapped consists of steep vertical shafts and many deep shafts, as well as narrow passages, Agnes Berentes, a Hungarian photographer who had been there, told Reuters.

Temperatures below were also very wet and cold, Berentes estimated it to be about 4 degrees Celsius (39 Fahrenheit).

Adding to the risks and complications was his health, as he was suffering from severe stomach bleeding. His condition was so serious at one point that doctors and rescuers had to give him a blood transfusion deep in the cave.

The European Cave Rescue Association (ECRA) said it first received a call on September 2 alerting them to Dickey’s plight.

This prompted an international rescue operation led by at least 200 aid workers from countries including the US, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.

The rescue efforts were divided into seven parts at different depths, ECRA officials said. Crews worked throughout the day and managed to move Dickey 180 meters (590 feet) below the surface, eventually retrieving him from the cave.

The Turkish Caving Federation confirmed that Dickey had successfully retreated at 12:37 local time on Tuesday.

A medic had been with Dickey inside the cave and rescue teams received instant updates from them via an established communications line.

In dramatic photographs taken at the scene, he could be seen lying and being pulled out by rescue workers in harnesses.

An experienced National Cave Rescue Commission instructor for a decade, Dickey had explored caves in 20 different US states and 10 different countries, according to the Caving Academya non-profit organization for cavers that he founded.

He began caving in the 1990s and also served as secretary of the medical commission at the European Cave Rescue Association and executive director of the Caving Academy.

The-CNN-Wire™ and © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Report an error


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *