American explorer trapped 3,400 feet below surface shares emotional video from Turkey cave

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By James Kay

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An American explorer who is trapped 3,400 feet below the surface in a Turkish cave has shared an emotional video as rescue efforts are underway.

A team of cave rescuers and medical professionals are racing against time to stabilize American cave expert Mark Dickey, who found himself in a life-threatening situation during a daring mission to explore the treacherous Morca cave.

Dickey, 40, who ventured a staggering 3,400 feet below the Earth's surface, fell ill with gastrointestinal bleeding, necessitating immediate rescue and medical attention, per the Independent.

Dickey fell ill on September 2 but didn't notify those on the surface until September 3, which ignited a cross-country rescue mission.

Cenk Yildiz, a regional official from Turkey's disaster relief agency, delivered an update on the high-stakes operation, stating: "We are now in a position to evacuate him [but] this operation will last at least three or four days. Our priority is health. Our aim is to conclude this operation without anyone coming under any danger."

The complex and perilous nature of the rescue mission has posed significant challenges for the team.

Authorities across Europe have swiftly coordinated their efforts to ensure Dickey's safe return to the surface. A dedicated medical team was dispatched to reach Dickey in the depths of the cave, where they performed crucial blood transfusions in a bid to bolster his strength for the impending rescue.

This proved to be life-saving for the explorer, who has since recorded a video message to express his gratitude to those rescuing him.

In the footage, as cited by Sky News, the explorer said: "I'm not healed on the inside yet, so I'm going to need a lot of help to get out of here.

"The caving world is a really tight-knit group, and it’s amazing to see how many people have responded on the surface. I do know that the quick response by the Turkish government to get the medical supplies that I needed, in my opinion, saved my life.

"I was very close to the edge when Jessica [my fiancée] got back to me. I look forward to working with everyone to safely get myself out with their assistance," he concluded.

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Rescue missions are underway. Credit: Elmurod Usubaliev/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Despite the improvement in Dickey's condition, the intricacies of the cave system pose a formidable obstacle. The Morca cave is notorious for its narrow passages and twists and turns, making navigation a daunting task.

For a person in good health, exiting this cave typically requires approximately 15 hours. In Dickey's case, his weakened state may necessitate the use of a stretcher to facilitate his escape from the subterranean labyrinth.

Dickey's family said in a statement: "Mark is strong, but he needed his fellow cavers, including, of course, the doctors, to allow a devastatingly scary situation to turn positive.

"Our prayers are being answered and we cannot express how much that means, and will always mean, to us."

More than 170 rescuers are on the scene as they attempt to rescue Dickey after his sudden illness in the cave system, with the operation well underway.

Featured image credit: Khaichuin Sim/Getty

American explorer trapped 3,400 feet below surface shares emotional video from Turkey cave

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

An American explorer who is trapped 3,400 feet below the surface in a Turkish cave has shared an emotional video as rescue efforts are underway.

A team of cave rescuers and medical professionals are racing against time to stabilize American cave expert Mark Dickey, who found himself in a life-threatening situation during a daring mission to explore the treacherous Morca cave.

Dickey, 40, who ventured a staggering 3,400 feet below the Earth's surface, fell ill with gastrointestinal bleeding, necessitating immediate rescue and medical attention, per the Independent.

Dickey fell ill on September 2 but didn't notify those on the surface until September 3, which ignited a cross-country rescue mission.

Cenk Yildiz, a regional official from Turkey's disaster relief agency, delivered an update on the high-stakes operation, stating: "We are now in a position to evacuate him [but] this operation will last at least three or four days. Our priority is health. Our aim is to conclude this operation without anyone coming under any danger."

The complex and perilous nature of the rescue mission has posed significant challenges for the team.

Authorities across Europe have swiftly coordinated their efforts to ensure Dickey's safe return to the surface. A dedicated medical team was dispatched to reach Dickey in the depths of the cave, where they performed crucial blood transfusions in a bid to bolster his strength for the impending rescue.

This proved to be life-saving for the explorer, who has since recorded a video message to express his gratitude to those rescuing him.

In the footage, as cited by Sky News, the explorer said: "I'm not healed on the inside yet, so I'm going to need a lot of help to get out of here.

"The caving world is a really tight-knit group, and it’s amazing to see how many people have responded on the surface. I do know that the quick response by the Turkish government to get the medical supplies that I needed, in my opinion, saved my life.

"I was very close to the edge when Jessica [my fiancée] got back to me. I look forward to working with everyone to safely get myself out with their assistance," he concluded.

size-full wp-image-1263227633
Rescue missions are underway. Credit: Elmurod Usubaliev/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Despite the improvement in Dickey's condition, the intricacies of the cave system pose a formidable obstacle. The Morca cave is notorious for its narrow passages and twists and turns, making navigation a daunting task.

For a person in good health, exiting this cave typically requires approximately 15 hours. In Dickey's case, his weakened state may necessitate the use of a stretcher to facilitate his escape from the subterranean labyrinth.

Dickey's family said in a statement: "Mark is strong, but he needed his fellow cavers, including, of course, the doctors, to allow a devastatingly scary situation to turn positive.

"Our prayers are being answered and we cannot express how much that means, and will always mean, to us."

More than 170 rescuers are on the scene as they attempt to rescue Dickey after his sudden illness in the cave system, with the operation well underway.

Featured image credit: Khaichuin Sim/Getty