An American researcher has been rescued from a deep cave in southern Turkey after being trapped for over a week. Mark Dickey, an experienced caver, fell seriously ill while exploring Morca Cave and was unable to climb out himself. The international caving community, along with Turkish cavers and the Hungarian Cave Rescue, came together to mount a challenging operation to save him.
Dickey was pulled out of the cave strapped to a stretcher and taken to a hospital in Mersin for treatment. He was suffering from stomach bleeding, although the cause of his illness is still unknown.
Speaking to reporters after his rescue, Dickey described his nine-day ordeal as a “crazy, crazy adventure” and expressed his gratitude to the rescue teams involved in saving him.
The operation to free Dickey involved widening narrow passages, setting up ropes to pull him up vertical shafts, and navigating through mud and water in freezing temperatures. It took over 100 rescuers from different countries around 60 hours to complete the rescue operation.
Dr. Zsofia Zador, an anesthesiologist and intensive care specialist from Hungary, was among the first to treat Dickey in the cave. She quickly arranged to join the rescue mission and described Dickey as relieved and hopeful when she reached him.
Dickey’s overall health condition is reported to be good, although further details were not provided. It remains uncertain whether he will return to caving in the future.
The rescue operation was a collaborative effort involving experts from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Turkey. Teams comprising of doctors, paramedics, and experienced cavers took turns staying with Dickey throughout the ordeal.