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Mark Dickey: Turkish rescuers rush to rescue American trapped in Morca cave



Rescuers are racing to rescue an American trapped in Turkey’s third-deepest cave after he fell ill, the Turkish Speleology Federation has said.

Some 150 rescuers are involved in a “complex” operation to rescue Mark Dickey, who was part of a search party in the Morca Valley, the Turkish Speleology Federation said. The rescue operation was first announced on Monday.

“In the Morca sinkhole, the 3rd deepest cave in Turkey with a depth of 1,276 meters (4,186 feet), during an exploration mission involving local and international teams, American speleologist Mark Dickey fell sick at a depth of 1,120 meters (3,675 feet) and was placed under observation at the cave base camp located at 1,040 meters (3,412 feet),” the Turkish Speleology Federation said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Bulent Genc, ​​president of the federation, told CNN on Thursday that the rescue could take days due to the depth and narrowness of the cave. Short movements will be needed to carry Dickey on a stretcher, Genc added.

Cave rescuers from several countries arrived in Turkey to help with the operation, including Hungarian, Italian, Croatian and American rescuers, according to Genc.

The Hungarian Cave Rescue Service said Dickey suffered from gastrointestinal bleeding.

Six units of blood were delivered to him, said the Turkish federation. His condition is currently stable and he is able to walk on his own, the federation added.

“Mark currently resides at the campsite 1,040 meters from the entrance,” the Turkish Speleology Federation said on Wednesday.

“The cave has narrow, winding passages and several abseils,” the federation said, adding that it takes an experienced caver 15 hours to reach the surface in ideal conditions.

A rescue mission at this depth is “very rare, extremely difficult” and requires “many very experienced cave rescuers”, according to the European Cave Rescue Association (ECRA), involved in the operation.

The association received a call on Saturday to report that Dickey was suffering from severe stomach pain.

On Sunday, a team from the Hungarian Cave Rescue Service, including a doctor, descended into the cave and set up a tent to provide intensive medical care, ECRA said.

On Monday, 17 people, including a doctor and a rescue worker from the Bulgarian rescue team, reached the base site of the cave.

On Wednesday, the Italian, Croatian and Polish teams were on their way to base camp.