Huge Rescue Mission Underway to Save American Man Trapped in Turkey’s Morca Cave

A massive rescue operation is currently taking place in Turkey as American caver Mark Dickey finds himself trapped in one of the country’s deepest cave systems. Dickey, 40, was part of a team mapping a new passage in the Morca Cave when he started experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding. The Turkish Caving Federation, in coordination with several other countries, has mobilized around 150 workers to save Dickey, who is stuck at a depth of 1,120m (3,675ft).

The rescue operation is considered one of the largest cave rescues in the world due to its logistical and technical complexities. Dickey’s condition has stabilized after receiving six units of blood, and he is now able to walk unsupported. However, due to the kind of medical attention required, he still needs to be transported on a stretcher. The Turkish military has taken over the operation, and they hope to extract Dickey from the cave by Friday.

Dickey’s fiancée, Jessica Van Ord, who remained with him during his illness, began climbing out of the cave when his condition improved and is expected to reach the surface on Thursday. Meanwhile, Dickey’s friend and fellow caving enthusiast, Carl Heitmeyer, emphasized the difficulty of the rescue, stating that it would require numerous rigging teams and medical care around the clock.

Mark Dickey, a seasoned caver with over 20 years of experience, has been an instructor with the US National Cave Rescue Commission for a decade. He had been leading the expedition to the Morca Cave since the end of August. The cave, located in remote southern Turkey, is notoriously deep, with experienced cavers taking about eight hours to reach the base camp where Dickey is trapped.

Rescues at depths exceeding 1,000m are rare occurrences. In 2014, a man was successfully evacuated from a depth of 1,148m (3,766ft) at the Riesending cave in Bavaria, Germany, after an 11-day operation involving 728 people. The current rescue mission serves as another test of human limits and the capabilities of rescue teams in extreme conditions.

As the rescue operation continues, the world watches with anticipation and hopes for the safe extraction of Mark Dickey from the depths of Turkey’s Morca Cave.