Rescue teams from across Europe have been carrying out an operation to rescue a United States researcher in a Turkish cave since Thursday. Mark Dickey was trap nearly 1,000 meters below the cave entrance after suffering stomach bleeding.
The 40-year-old experienced cave explorer suddenly fell ill while on an expedition with several others, including three other Americans, in the Morca cave in Turkey’s southern Taurus Mountains, the European Cave Rescue Association said.
In a video message from inside the cave and provided by Turkey’s communications directorate on Thursday, Dickey thanked the cave exploration community and the Turkish government for their efforts.
Dickey, who can be seen standing and moving in the video, said that although he is alert and talking. he is not yet “heal from the inside” and will need Dickey, who was bleeding and losing fluids from his stomach. Had stop vomiting and had been eating for the first time in days, according to a cave rescue group affiliated with him in New Jersey. It’s not clear what caused his medical problems.
The New Jersey Initial Response Team said the rescue would require multiple teams and ongoing medical care. The group said the cave was also quite cold – around 4-6 degrees Celsius.
Communication with Dickey took about five to seven hours and was carrie out by runners, who depart from Dickey for a subsurface camp where telephone lines had laid to talk to the surface.
Dinko Novosel, a Croatian cave rescuer who is chairman of the European Cave Rescue Association, said the successful rescue of Dickey would be a challenge. The operation to retrieve him from the depths involved rescue teams from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Turkey.
Yusuf Ogrenecek, from the Turkish Speleological Federation, said Dickey’s condition was stable and improving. He said the American was “in good spirits” and doctors would decide whether Dickey was able to leave the cave on a stretcher or under his own strength.