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A Caver is Trapped a Kilometre Underground

Mark Dickey said he was "very close to the edge' after requiring a rescue that will take several days to complete

American Mark Dickey, 40, is trapped around 1,000 metres underground in Morca Cave in southern Turkey. Dickey, a professional caver with the Caving Academy in New York, began to suffer gastrointestinal bleeding during his expedition and a rescue operation was initiated.

“I was very close to the edge,” Dickey said in a video obtained by The Associated Press. Over 150 search and rescue technicians, along with medics are in the area, with some at the scene with Dickey. Teams are working to add a communication system called CaveLink. Dickey was establishing a descent route that was to go down to 1,300 metres, his team brought 400 bolts to add as anchors. You can read about the cave and Dickey’s expedition here.

Bulent Genc, head of Turkey’s TUMAF caving federation, told Reuters, “Several international teams, including Croats and Italians, are aiding in the operations. The guy is some 1,000 metres deep, they are dividing the ascent in seven sections. They expect (rescue operations) to take 10 days, but it may be shorter if the guy’s better or longer if his situation worsens.” Genc said Dickey’s condition had improved and he was now able to stand on his own.

In the same video obtained by The Associated Press, Dickey says, “Hi! Mark Dickey from nearly a thousand metres. The caving world is a really tight-knit group and it’s amazing to see how many people have responded on the surface. We’re still waiting for communications actually to reach down here. So right now it’s a day or two days of travel for information to get back and forth. I don’t quite know what’s happened, but I do know that the quick response of the Turkish government to get the medical supplies that I needed, in my opinion, saved my life.”