American Mark Dickey rescued from a cave in Turkey after falling ill more than 3K feet below the surface
- Teams from across Europe had rushed to Morca cave in southern Turkey´s Taurus Mountains to aid Mark Dickey, 40
- He was on an expedition to map the cave, which is the country´s third deepest
- Dickey was too frail to climb out himself, so rescuers carried him with the help of a stretcher
Rescuers pulled an American researcher out of a Turkish cave more than a week after he became seriously ill 3,000 feet below its entrance, the Speleological Federation of Turkey said.
Teams from across Europe had rushed to Morca cave in southern Turkey´s Taurus Mountains to aid Mark Dickey, 40, who became seriously ill on September 2 with stomach bleeding.
He was on an expedition to map the cave, which is the country´s third deepest.
Dickey was too frail to climb out himself, so rescuers carried him with the help of a stretcher, making frequent stops at temporary camps set up along the way.
‘Mark Dickey is out of the Morca cave,’ said a statement by the speleological federation. It said that Dickey was removed from the last exit of the cave at 12:37 a.m. local time.
Rescuers pulled an American researcher out of a Turkish cave more than a week after he became seriously ill 3,000 feet below its entrance, the Speleological Federation of Turkey said
A medical team takes care of American caver Mark Dickey, center, 40, inside the Morca cave near Anamur, southern Turkey,
‘He is fine and is being tended to by emergency medical workers in the encampment above,’ the statement said.
Mark´s parents. Debbie and Andy Dickey, thanked the international caving community, doctors and rescuers, and the Turkish government for helping save their son.
‘The fact that our son, Mark Dickey, has been moved out of Morca Cave in stable condition is indescribably relieving and fills us with incredible joy,’ they said in a statement.
The American was first treated inside the cave by a Hungarian doctor who went down to meet the ill explorer on Sept. 3.
Doctors and rescuers then took turns caring for him. The cause of Dickey’s illness was not clear.
The biggest challenges for the rescuers were the steep vertical sections and navigating through mud and water at low temperatures in the horizontal sections.
There was also the psychological toll of staying inside a dark, damp cave for extended periods of time.
Around 190 experts from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Turkey took part in the rescue, including doctors, paramedics and experienced cavers.
Dickey, 40, (pictured in the cave) was on an international exploration expedition in the Morca cave in Mersin province’s Taurus mountains when he began suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding
More than 150 rescuers from around the world have been working on the rescue mission in Turkey’s third deepest cave
Members of the CNSAS, Italian alpine and speleological rescuers, carry a stretcher with Dickey earlier Monday
Teams comprised of a doctor and three to four other rescuers took turns staying by Dickey’s side at all times.
The rescue began on Saturday after doctors, who administered IV fluids and blood, determined that Dickey could not make the arduous ascent.
Before the evacuation could begin, rescuers first had to widen some of the cave´s narrow passages, install ropes to pull him up vertical shafts on a stretcher and set up temporary camps along the way.
Dickey, who is from Croton-on-Hudson, New York, is a well-known cave researcher and a cave rescuer himself who had participated in many international expeditions.
He and several other people on the expedition were mapping the 4,186-foot deep Morca cave system for the Anatolian Speleology Group Association. Dickey became ill on Sept. 2, but it took until the next morning to notify people above ground.
Rescuers from Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Poland, Hungary and Turkey are involved in the mission
Turkish authorities made a video message available that showed Dickey standing and moving around on Thursday.
His condition seemed to improve during the climb and officials said he had not experienced bleeding or vomiting for two days.
While alert and talking, he said he was not ‘healed on the inside’ and needed a lot of help to get out of the cave.
He thanked the caving community and the Turkish government for their efforts to rescue him.
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