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American explorer rescued after 8 days trapped in Turkish cave

An American caver thought he was 'not going to live' after falling ill and throwing up blood more than 1,000 metres into a Turkish cave. Mark Dickey was eventually rescued after 8 days in the cave by a team of over 200 climbers and cavers from Turkiye and Hungary - including his wife Jessica. Rescuers were supported with resources and supplies by the Turkish authorities.

September 12, 2023 at 12:22 pm

American caver Mark Dickey was rescued early today from a cave in southern Turkiye after he fell ill last week, according to the Turkish caving federation TUMAF.

”Mark Dickey was removed from the last exit of the cave,” it said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

”Thus, the cave rescue part of the operation has ended successfully. We congratulate all those who have contributed!”

Dickey was initially taken to a medical tent and will be transferred to a hospital in the southern Turkish city of Mersin, authorities said.

Nearly 200 personnel from eight countries joined the international operation led by the Turkish state Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) to rescue the caver.

Eight days ago, Dickey, an intrepid explorer, found himself in distress in the Morca Sinkhole in the southern Mersin province thousands of feet below the cave entrance.

Dickey was part of a 14-person spelunking team who descended into Morca before he showed signs of gastrointestinal distress.

”It is amazing to be above ground again,” he told reporters. Dickey said he feared he would not live after his condition worsened, thanking the Turkish government and the international caving community for saving his life.

”It literally went through my head,” he said. ”I kept throwing up blood. Then my consciousness started to get harder to hold on to and I reached a point where I said I am not going to live.”

American explorer Mark Dickey, trapped in Turkish cave rescued [Yasin Demirci/Anadolu Agency]

American explorer Mark Dickey, trapped in Turkish cave rescued [Yasin Demirci/Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye: Rescue operation to save US citizen Mark Dickey