On Sunday in Turkey, rescue teams successfully brought an American researcher from a depth of 1040 meters (3412.07 feet) in a cave to a higher level at 700 meters (2296.59 feet). He will recuperate at a base camp before resuming the challenging ascent to the surface.
Mark Dickey, 40, an adept caver, experienced severe illness on September 2nd during an expedition in the Morca cave. Situated in the southern region of Turkey’s Taurus Mountains, the cave plunges beyond 4,100 feet. As detailed by the Turkish Caving Federation, it features slender corridors and sections necessitating rappelling, which is actively aiding the rescue efforts.
Located in southern Turkey’s Taurus Mountains, this cave is among the world’s deepest.
While trapped more than half a mile below the Earth’s surface, Dickey’s determination to survive vacillated between hope and despair.
“At first, I assured myself, ‘I won’t die. I can handle this,” he recalled thinking.
However, as he began to vomit blood, he noted, “The amount of blood was alarming. If it persisted, survival was unlikely.” As his awareness wavered, he came to a bleak realization: “I might not make it out alive.”
He attributes his survival to the unwavering support of his fiancée, the Turkish government, and Hungarian cavers. Dickey shared that his fiancée made an impressive ascent of about 3,300 feet to fetch essential fluids, aided in her return by Turkish and Hungarian cavers.
The rescue effort kicked off on Saturday afternoon, drawing doctors, paramedics, and seasoned cavers from all over Europe. Small medical camps were set up at various depths in the cave, ensuring Dickey could pause and recover during the painstaking extraction process. The Speleological Federation of Turkey updated on platform X, previously known as Twitter, “Mark was safely brought to the -700 meters camp at 03:24 local time (GMT+3). He will continue the journey once rested and received the necessary care.”
The operation has garnered significant international support, with 190 personnel from eight nations and 153 search and rescue specialists.
Yusuf Ogrenecek from the speleological federation highlighted that the most demanding aspect of this operation is expanding the tight cave corridors to accommodate the rescue stretchers. The entire extraction process could last up to ten days, contingent on Dickey’s health status.
Dicky provided a video message during his rescue.