The American researcher, who went to map a deep Turkish cave, was rescued more than a week after falling ill | world News

Rescuers have pulled an American researcher from a Turkish cave more than a week after he became seriously ill 1,000 meters (more than 3,000 feet) below the cave entrance, the Turkish Caving Federation said.

Teams from all over Europe have rushed to Murka Cave in the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey to help Mark Dickie, a 40-year-old experienced caveman who became seriously ill on September 2 with a stomach bleed. He was on an expedition to map the cave, which is the third deepest cave in the country.

Dickey was too weak to climb by himself, so rescuers carried him with the help of a stretcher, stopping frequently at temporary camps set up along the way.

A statement issued by the cave association said: “Mark Dickie emerged from Murka Cave.” She said Dickey was brought out of the cave’s final exit at 12.37am local time on Tuesday, or 9.37pm GMT on Monday. “He is fine and is being cared for by an emergency medical worker at the camp above,” the statement said.

Mark’s parents, Debbie and Andy Dickie, thanked the international caving community, doctors, rescue workers and the Turkish government for helping to save their son.

They said in a statement: “The fact that our son Mark Dickie has been transferred from Murka Cave in a stable condition is something that comforts us beyond words and fills us with incredible happiness.”

The American was first treated inside the cave by a Hungarian doctor who descended into the cave on September 3, and then doctors and rescue workers took turns caring for him. The cause of Dickey’s illness was not clear.

The biggest challenges the rescuers faced were the steep vertical sections and navigating through mud and water at low temperatures in the horizontal sections. There was also the psychological impact of being inside a dark, damp cave for long periods of time.

Cave rescue teams from several European countries are launching extraction efforts to bring American Mark Dickey, who fell ill while mapping Murca Cave in Turkey, to the surface.  (AP drawing) This graphic taken on September 9 shows how cave rescue teams from several European countries mounted extraction efforts to bring American Mark Dickey, who fell ill while mapping Murca Cave in Turkey, to the surface. (AP drawing)

About 190 experts from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Turkey participated in the rescue operation, including doctors, paramedics and experienced cave workers. Teams of a doctor and three to four other rescuers took turns staying by his side at all times.

The rescue operation began Saturday after doctors, who administered intravenous fluids and blood, decided Dickey could make the uphill climb.

Before the evacuation could begin, rescuers first had to widen some of the cave’s narrow passages, install ropes to pull him up vertical poles on a stretcher and set up temporary camps along the way.

Dickey, who is from Croton-on-Hudson, New York, is a well-known cave researcher and cave rescuer who has participated in numerous international expeditions.

Türkiye Cave Rescue A medical team cares for American caver Mark Dickey, center, 40, inside Murka Cave near Anamur, southern Turkey, Saturday, September 9, 2023. (Marton Kovacs/Hungarian Cave Rescue Service via AP)

He and several others on the expedition were mapping the 1,276 m (4,186 ft) deep Murca cave system for the Anatolian Speleological Group Society. Dickey fell ill on September 2, but it took until the next morning to notify people above ground.

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Turkish authorities made available a video message that showed Diki standing and moving on Thursday. While he was alerted and talking, he said that he was not “healed from the inside” and needed a lot of help to get out of the cave.

After his rescue, the European Cave Rescue Association said Dickie would be taken to hospital after a medical evaluation. She said several cave rescuers remained in the cave to remove ropes and rescue equipment used during the operation.

The association expressed its “great gratitude to the many cave rescuers from seven different countries who contributed to the success of this cave rescue operation.”

(tags for translation)Mark Dickey

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