Advertisement

Rescue teams could start moving American trapped 3,400 feet inside Turkey cave within hours - latest

Rescue teams could start to move trapped American explorer Mark Dickey from 3,400ft inside a cave in Turkey within hours, a report says.

An international team of cave rescuers and medical personnel have been working to stabilise the cave expert before launching a rescue operation as early as Saturday, a director at Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) told CNN.

Mr Dickey, 40, is on a mission to explore the Morca cave. But on Saturday, while exploring at 3,400 feet below the surface, he began suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding.

Authorities in Europe worked quickly to send a doctor down to Mr Dickey where they performed blood transfusions in the hopes of getting him strong enough to leave.

“I was very close to the edge,” Mr Dickey said in a video obtained by The Associated Press.

While Mr Dickey’s condition has improved thanks to a team of doctors from several countries, he may still need a stretcher to exit.

The cave system is described as extremely narrow with many twists and turns, making it difficult to navigate. It typically takes a person in good health around 15 hours to exit.

Key Points

  • Here’s what we know about the cave rescue mission so far

  • Mark Dickey’s condition ‘continues to improve’

  • A look into the depth of the Morca cave

  • Mark Dickey says he was ‘very close to the edge’ in emotional first video from Turkish cave

  • Where is the Morca cave?

What is a speleologist?

19:00 , Maanya Sachdeva

Mark Dickey is an American speleologist, or someone who studies all aspects of caves including their geology, biology, hydrology, and history.

Speleologists often research how the cave is formed and how It changes – this is known as speleogenesis and speleomorphology.

“Speleology is an interdisciplinary field that combines a lot of scientific skills,” according to StartCaving.com says.

Read my colleague Faiza Saqib’s explainer on this field of study here:

What is a speleologist?

Who is American speleologist Mark Dickey?

18:00 , Maanya Sachdeva

Hailing from Croton-on-Hudson, New York, Mark Dickey is a highly-trained caver, cave rescuer and well-known in the international speleological (cave expert) community, according to the European Cave Rescue Association (ECRA).

His resume of cave explorations and expert status is endless: secretary of the ECRA medical committee, lead instructor for Caving Academy, a US-based organisation that prepares other cavers for exploration and a national instructor for the National Cave Rescue Commission.

Find out more about about the 40-year-old American researcher here:

He helped rescue people from caves. Now he’s stuck in one of the world’s deepest

16:59 , Maanya Sachdeva

Rescue of American explorer trapped in Turkey cave has begun, officials say

Rescue teams have begun the arduous process of extricating Mark Dickey, who became seriously ill while he was exploring the Morca cave in the south of Turkey last Saturday.

The rescue operation could last for up to 10 days.

Full story here:

Rescue of American explorer trapped in Turkey cave has begun, officials say

Trapped American explorer’s parents say ‘our prayers are being answered’ amid rescue operation

15:30 , Maanya Sachdeva

The parents of Mark Dickey, who is currently trapped in a Turkey cave, have said “our prayers are being answered” as a rescue operation to safely extract the American explorer gets underway.

In a statement obtained by Mail Online, Andrew and Deborah Ann Dickey said: “We are extremely grateful to the international caving community volunteers who have demonstrated such support for our son.

“Mark is strong, but he needed his fellow cavers, including, of course, doctors to allow a devastatingly scary situation to turn positive,” their statement read.

They also said they are “thankful” Mr Dickey’s fiancee and fellow caver, Jessica “has been with him during this ordeal”.

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

Mr Dickey has remained trapped in the Morca cave since last Saturday (Sourced)
Mr Dickey has remained trapped in the Morca cave since last Saturday (Sourced)

Rescue teams using explosives to widen cave for Dickey’s safe extraction

14:35 , Maanya Sachdeva

More than 180 people from eight countries have joined the efforts to help Mark Dickey out of a cave in Turkey, according to The New York Times.

The American explorer was exploring the Morca cave last week but became trapped after he began suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding.

The newspaper also reported that rescuers are using explosives to widen parts of the extremely narrow cave, with many twists and turns that make it difficult to navigate.

It typically takes a person in good health around 15 hours to exit.

While Mr Dickey’s condition has stabilised, officials said he may still need a stretcher to exit.

Rescue operation will last ‘at least three to four days’

13:16 , Maanya Sachdeva

The operation to rescue trapped American explorer Mark Dickey from the Morca cave in Turkey will last “at least three to four days”, officials have said.

“This is a difficult operation. It would take a [healthy] person 16 hours to come out. This operation will last at least three or four days,” Cenk Yildiz, a regional official from Turkey’s disaster relief agency, AFAD, told the IHA news agency. “Our priority is health. Our aim is to conclude this operation without anyone coming under any danger.”

Chris Stevenson reports:

Rescuers poised to begin evacuation of explorer trapped 3,400ft inside cave in Turkey

Dickey says he was ‘very close to the edge’ in emotional first video from cave

12:30 , Maanya Sachdeva

Trapped American explorer Mark Dickey said he “was very close to the edge” as he thanked Turkish authorities for saving his life in an emotional video from deep inside a cave system.

Full story by Graeme Massie here:

Trapped American explorer releases emotional video from deep in Turkish cave

Watch: Rescue operation underway for ill American stuck deep in Turkish cave

12:00 , Maanya Sachdeva

Images of the rescue operation

11:30 , Maanya Sachdeva

Rescuers arrive at a base camp to take part in the rescue operation for trapped explorer Mark Dickey (Umit Bektas/Reuters)
Rescuers arrive at a base camp to take part in the rescue operation for trapped explorer Mark Dickey (Umit Bektas/Reuters)
The base camp of international rescuers is seen near the Morca Cave (Umit Bektas/Reuters)
The base camp of international rescuers is seen near the Morca Cave (Umit Bektas/Reuters)
A rescuer holds a map of the Morca Cave during a meeting (Umit Bektas/Reuters)
A rescuer holds a map of the Morca Cave during a meeting (Umit Bektas/Reuters)

Map of Morca cave system

10:35 , Graeme Massie

An American is recovering deep below ground and awaiting rescue after getting sick while on a mapping expedition of Turkey's Morca cave. (AP)
An American is recovering deep below ground and awaiting rescue after getting sick while on a mapping expedition of Turkey's Morca cave. (AP)

$50,000 raised for Mark Dickey

09:01 , Graeme Massie

A fundraiser benefitting the teams that are rescuing Mark Dickey from the cave in Turkey has raised $50,000.

The GoFundMe was set up to help fund the complicated rescue mission which will likely take days.

“This fundraiser is started on behalf of the National Cave Rescue Commission (for whom Mark is also an instructor) and will be used to be distributed to the rescue teams to cover the logistical costs of aiding him out of the cave,” the description reads.

So far, the fundraiser has met half of its goal of $100,000.

Six international rescue teams will assist in rescue

07:10 , Graeme Massie

Six rescue teams from different countries apart of the European Cave Rescue Association (ECRA) are working together to try to rescue American Mark Dickey from the Morca cave in Turkey.

At 3,400 feet, it will be incredibly difficult to get Mr Dickey, safely, out of the cave.

To make it easier, the ECRA is going to split seven parts of the cave up among the six teams. Each time will find solutions to conduct the rescue operation at a set number of feet.

The Bulgarian cave rescue team will first find a way to get Mr Dickey from 3,412 feet (where he is now) to 2,953 feet.

From there, the Croatian rescue team will get Mr Dickey to 2,345 feet.

Then the Italian rescue team will get Mr Dickey to 1,640 feet.

After that the Polish rescue team will take over to help Mr Dickey reach 1,181 feet.

Then the Hungarian team will assist in reaching 590 feet.

Finally, the Turkish team will help get Mr Dickey out of the cave and to the surface so he can reach proper medical care.

Dickey’s parents thank rescuers for efforts

05:04 , Maanya Sachdeva

Andrew and Deborah Ann Dickey, the scientist Mark Dickey’s parents, released a statement thanking rescuers for their life-saving efforts.

“Mark is strong, but he needed his fellow cavers, including, of course, the doctors, to allow a devastatingly scary situation to turn positive,” Dickey’s parents said.

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

Who is Mark Dickey?

03:05 , Graeme Massie

Hailing from Croton-on-Hudson, New York, Mark Dickey is a highly-trained caver, cave rescuer himself and well-known in the international speleological (cave expert) community, according to the European Cave Rescue Association (ECRA).

His resume of cave explorations and expert status is endless: secretary of the ECRA medical committee, lead instructor for Caving Academy, a US-based organisation that prepares other cavers for exploration and a national instructor for the National Cave Rescue Commission.

He also volunteers with the New Jersey Initial Response Team, a nonprofit search-and-rescue team.

Having participated in many cave explorations in karst areas around the world for many years, Mr Dickey is knowledgeable and skilled – the kind of person you’d want on complicated cave exploration like the Morca mission.

Mr Dickey was on an expedition to map the 4,186-foot-deep cave system in southern Turkey for the Anatolian Speleology Group Association.

Photos from a Facebook page that seemingly belongs to Mr Dickey show him happily preparing for the mission by inspecting all the necessary gear before embarking.

He built a career rescuing people from caves. Now he’s stuck in one of the world’s deepest

01:00 , Graeme Massie

For five days, expert cave explorer Mark Dickey has been stuck 3,400 feet below the surface in a cave in the Taurus Moutain region of Turkey.

Mr Dickey, 40, is an experienced caver who embarked on an expedition mission to map one of the deepest caves in the world – the Morca cave system in southern Turkey.

But the expedition was suddenly cut short after Mr Dickey fell ill with gastrointestinal bleeding.

Now, a rescue team of over 150 personnel from several international organisations have combined their efforts to try to retrieve Mr Dickey, who cannot leave the cave due to the emergency medical situation.

As of Thursday, officials in the Speleological Federation of Turkey said that Mr Dickey’s situation had improved but that he would require a stretcher, making the rescue mission even more complicated.

Ariana Baio reports:

He helped rescue people from caves. Now he’s stuck in one of the world’s deepest

Officials share more details about cave rescue operation

19:03 , Chris Stevenson

Tulga Sener, the head of the rescue commission medical unit, told Reuters that Mr Dickey’s health condition was stable and his vital signs normal, adding that three doctors would attend to him on his way up.

It is believed that Mr Dickey will have to take significant rest at frequent points on the way out.

Explosives will need to be used to expand some of the more narrow points of the cave to allow safe passage said Recep Salci, the head of search and rescue for AFAD, with the aim of bringing Mr Dickey up a stretcher.

Rescuers will use a “security belt” system to lift him through the cave’s narrowest openings.

“Our aim is to bring him out and to have him hospitalised as soon as possible,” Mr Salci said.

What is a speleologist? Mission to extract US explorer trapped 3,400 feet deep in Turkish Cave underway

Friday 8 September 2023 20:33 , Graeme Massie

The Cave Exploration Society says Morca cave is the 74th deepest cave in the world and the third deepest in Turkey - here’s everything you need to know about Speleology.

What is a speleologist?

Mission to bring caver to surface will start Saturday, Turkish officials say

Friday 8 September 2023 18:31 , Graeme Massie

Mark Dickey remains 3,600ft underground, but the effort to lift him to the surface is set to begin on Saturday, a director at Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) told CNN on Friday.

Dickey fell ill last weekend with suspected gastrointestinal bleeding during an exploration of the Morca Sinkhole in Morca Valley, near Anamur in southern Turkey.

 (AP)
(AP)

Doctors working to improve Mark Dickey’s health

Friday 8 September 2023 18:00 , Ariana Baio

In an update from the European Cave Rescue Association (ECRA), officials said doctors are working to improve Mark Dickey’s health to the fullest extent possible before they conduct the rescue mission.

“The doctors are working to further improve the patient’s health [sic] so that the difficult transport to the surface can begin soon without further complications,” they wrote in a press release.

Officials said they believe Mr Dickey will need to use a stretcher for some of the rescue mission but the better his condition is the fewer complications there will be.

Mark Dickey calls rescue mission ‘great opportunity’ for international teams to work together

Friday 8 September 2023 16:45 , Ariana Baio

In a message from Mark Dickey, the expert caver said a rescue mission like the one he will embark on is an opportunity to show the world how international teams can work together.

“As you can see I’m up, I’m alert, I’m talking. But I’m not healed on the inside yet so I’m going to need a lot of help to get out of here,” Mr Dickey said in a video circulated around on Thursday.

Despite the scary situation, Mr Dickey remained hopeful and provided some positive thoughts: “This is often, in the caving world, a great opportunity to show just how well the international world can work together.”

Communications improved

Friday 8 September 2023 15:19 , Chris Stevenson

The European Cave Rescue Association said on its website on Friday that the cave had been divided into seven sections, with various rescue teams taking responsibility for each of the levels down the cave. Communication lines inside the cave had also been improved, it said.

"The doctors are working to further improve the patient's health's so that the difficult transport to the surface can begin soon without further complications."

Swapping doctors

Friday 8 September 2023 14:57 , Ariana Baio

Members of Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Team joined rescue teams from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Turkey late on Thursday.

The Italian organisation said six of their rescuers, including a doctor and nurse, reached Mr Dickey during the night.

The team is switching out the Hungarian doctor who has been tending to Mr Dickey with their own. The team planned to work to keep him stable for 15 to 20 hours before being replaced by another team.

Small camps are being set up at different levels inside the cave gave doctors, nurses and technicians a place to rest, the group said.

Dozens of rescuers in the cave

Friday 8 September 2023 14:12 , Chris Stevenson

Recep Salci, a Turkeish rescue official, told HaberTurk TV that doctors gave Mr Dickey IV fluids and 4 litres of blood inside the cave.

More than 30 rescuers were inside the cave on Friday afternoon, and teams comprised of a doctor and three or four others take turns staying with the American at all times, Mr Salci said.

“Our aim is to bring him out and to have him hospitalized as soon as possible,” he said.More than 170 people, including doctors, paramedics and experienced cavers, are involved in the rescue operation.

Rescue plan on hold until doctors to give ‘go ahead’

Friday 8 September 2023 13:49 , Ariana Baio

A Turkish official has said rescuers are waiting for doctors to give the go-ahead for the difficult operation to begin.

Recep Salci, the head of AFAD's search and rescue department, told HaberTurk TV that the plan was to lift Dickey on a stretcher but to use a "security belt" system to lift him through the cave's narrow openings.

"We are trying to expand the narrow areas by making small explosions, by breaking some areas," Mr Salci said.

Caver describes the complexity of Morca cave

Friday 8 September 2023 13:10 , Chris Stevenson

Carl Heitmeyer, the public information officer for the New Jersey Initial Response Team described the complexity of the cave system that Mark Dickey is in to New Jersey Patch.

"I compare it to Everest," Mr Heitmeyer said.

"There’s twists and turns and squeezes," he said. "There’s climbs both up and down. And then there’s the rope work, where you’re hanging on, climbing up. And then there’s water coming in...some of the times when you’re on rope, doing all that very technical stuff, you’re blinking because of the rain."

‘Cave divided into sections'

Friday 8 September 2023 12:48 , Chris Stevenson

Gretchen Baker, a representative of the National Cave Rescue Commission in Huntsville, Alabama has spoken about how the route is being prepared for Mark Dickey to exit the cave. “The cave has been divided into seven sections, with different cave rescue teams working to prepare each section for Mark’s passage,” Ms Baker said. “This includes adapting the current rigging to rescue rigging, which can hold more weight and is in good places to put in haul systems. It also means enlarging the passages so that a litter can fit through.”

Mr Dickey will assist in his rescue, but to keep his condition stable, he will be put on a litter, a type of stretcher, “for at least part of the time,” Ms Baker told The Washington Post. “Using the litter protects him, but also means that it will take longer to get out of the cave, as there are many narrow, tight sections on the route out, and the litter is harder to fit through than a human body,” she added.

‘I was very close to the edge’

Friday 8 September 2023 11:30 , Namita Singh

In a video message from inside the cave and made available Thursday by Turkey’s communications directorate, Mark Dickey thanked the caving community and the Turkish government for their efforts.

“Hi. Mark Dickey from nearly a thousand metres,” Mr Dickey said. “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 need, in my opinion, saved my life. I was very close to the edge.”

Mr Dickey, who had been bleeding and losing fluid from his stomach, has stopped vomiting and has eaten for the first time in days, according to a New Jersey-based cave rescue group he is affiliated with. It is unclear what caused his medical issue.

‘Hours of descent'

Friday 8 September 2023 11:15 , Chris Stevenson

Speaking to an Israeli rescuer, they say getting down to the depth Mark Dickey is takes almost a day of contstant descent. Communication also slow, as for every update you need to send someone to climb 500m to the phone that sits at that depth. That takes 7-10 hours.

Watch: Rescue operation underway for ill American stuck deep in Turkish cave

Friday 8 September 2023 11:09 , Chris Stevenson

‘Evacuation could take days'

Friday 8 September 2023 10:46 , Chris Stevenson

"The doctors we sent down were very successful in treating [Mark Dickey]," Cenk Yildiz, a regional official from Turkey's disaster relief agency, told the IHA news agency. "We are now in a position to evacuate him."

"This is a difficult operation. It would take a [healthy] person 16 hours to come out. This operation will last at least three or four days," Mr Yildiz continued. "Our priority is health. Our aim is to conclude this operation without anyone coming under any danger.

More rescuers to join Dickey’s extraction mission

Friday 8 September 2023 10:30 , Namita Singh

A team of rescuers from Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Team will be flying to Turkey on Thursday night. A total of around 50 rescuers will be at the entrance of the cave early on Friday ready to participate in the operation directed by Turkish authorities.

The rescue teams hope that the extraction can begin on Saturday or Sunday. Kovacs said that lifting Mark Dickey will likely take several days, and that several bivouac points are being prepared along the way so that Dickey and rescue teams can rest.

The cave has been divided into several sections, with each country’s rescue team being responsible for one section.

The Hungarian Cave Rescue Service, made up of volunteer rescuers, was the first to arrive at Mr Dickey’s location and provided emergency blood transfusions to stabilize his condition.

How deep is the cave Mark Dickey is in?

Friday 8 September 2023 10:14 , Chris Stevenson

An image depicting the vertical depth of the cave where Mark Dickey is (Turkish Caving Federation)
An image depicting the vertical depth of the cave where Mark Dickey is (Turkish Caving Federation)

‘Rescue will not be quick'

Friday 8 September 2023 09:55 , Chris Stevenson

“This will not be a quick rescue due to where he is in the cave and the challenging terrain ahead,” Gretchen Baker, a representative of the National Cave Rescue Commission in Huntsville, Alabama, said in an emailed statement. But “the cave rescuers on scene are extremely talented, and many have worked in deep caves. Mark has caved in several European countries and knows some of these rescuers from other expeditions.”

Who is Mark Dickey?

Friday 8 September 2023 09:30 , Namita Singh

Experienced caver Mark Dickey, 40, suddenly became ill during an expedition with a handful of others, including three other Americans, in the Morca cave in southern Turkey’s Taurus Mountains, the European Association of Cave Rescuers said.

Described by the association as “a highly trained caver and a cave rescuer himself”, Dickey is well known as a cave researcher, or speleologist, from his participation in many international expeditions. He is secretary of the association’s medical committee.

Mr Dickey was on an expedition mapping the 1,276m (4,186ft) deep Morca cave system for the Anatolian Speleology Group Association (ASPEG) when he ran into trouble about 1,000m down. He initially became ill on 2 September, but it took until the morning of 3 September to notify others who were above ground.

Justin Hanley, a 28-year-old firefighter from near Dallas, Texas, said he met Mr Dickey a few months ago when he took a cave rescue course Dickey taught in Hungary and Croatia. He described Mr Dickey as upbeat and as someone who sees the good in everyone.

“Mark is the guy that should be on that rescue mission that’s leading and consulting and for him to be the one that needs to be rescued is kind of a tragedy in and of itself,” he said.

International rescue agencies join together in Dickey extraction mission

Friday 8 September 2023 09:00 , Namita Singh

Marton Kovacs of the Hungarian Cave Rescue Service said that the cave is being prepared for Mark Dickey’s safe extraction. Passages are being widened and the danger of falling rocks is also being addressed.

Turkish disaster relief agency AFAD and rescue team UMKE are working with Turkish and international cavers on the plan to hoist Mr Dickey out of the cave system, the European Cave Rescue Association said.

Mark Dickey, the US caver who is currently trapped near Morca (Reuters)
Mark Dickey, the US caver who is currently trapped near Morca (Reuters)

The rescue effort currently involves more than 170 people, including doctors, paramedics who are tending to Dickey and experienced cavers, Ogrenecek said, adding that the rescue operation could take up to two to three weeks.

The operation includes rescue teams from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Turkey.

Communication with Dickey takes about five to seven hours

Friday 8 September 2023 08:30 , Namita Singh

Communication with Mark Dickey takes about five to seven hours and is carried out by runners, who go from him to the camp below the surface where a telephone line to speak with the surface has been set up.

Experts said it will be a challenge to successfully rescue Mr Dickey.

Yusuf Ogrenecek of the Speleological Federation of Turkey said that one of the most difficult tasks of cave rescue operations is widening the narrow cave passages to allow stretcher lines to pass through at low depths.

Stretcher lines are labor intensive and require experienced cave rescuers working long hours, Mr Ogrenecek said. He added that other difficult factors range from navigating through mud and water at low temperatures to the psychological toll of staying inside a cave for long periods of time.

Catch up with the situation

Friday 8 September 2023 08:00 , Ariana Baio

Race against time to save cave rescuer trapped in one of deepest caves in Turkey

Dickey issues video message thanking authorities for support

Friday 8 September 2023 07:30 , Namita Singh

Mark Dickey thanked the caving community and the Turkish government for their efforts to help him in a video message.

“The caving world is a really tight-knit group and it’s amazing to see how many people have responded on the surface,” said Mr Dickey. “ ... I do know that the quick response of the Turkish government to get the medical supplies that I need, in my opinion, saved my life. I was very close to the edge.”

American caver Mark Dickey, left, 40, talks to a colleague inside the Morca cave near Anamur, southern Turkey, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. (AP)
American caver Mark Dickey, left, 40, talks to a colleague inside the Morca cave near Anamur, southern Turkey, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. (AP)

Mr Dickey, who is seen standing and moving around in the video, said that while he is alert and talking, he is not “healed on the inside” and will need a lot of help to get out of the cave. Doctors will decide whether he will need to leave the cave on a stretcher or if he can leave under his own power.

Mr Dickey, who had been bleeding and losing fluid from his stomach, has stopped vomiting and has eaten for the first time in days, according to a New Jersey-based cave rescue group he’s affiliated with. It’s unclear what caused his medical issue.

Ailing American explorer trapped 3,000 feet deep in Turkish cave awaits difficult rescue

Friday 8 September 2023 07:00 , Namita Singh

Rescuers from across Europe rushed to a cave in Turkey on Thursday, launching an operation to save an American researcher who became trapped almost 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) below the cave’s entrance after suffering stomach bleeding.

Experienced caver Mark Dickey, 40, suddenly became ill during an expedition with a handful of others, including three other Americans, in the Morca cave in southern Turkey’s Taurus Mountains, the European Association of Cave Rescuers said.

While rescuers, including a Hungarian doctor, have reached and treated Mr Dickey, it could be days and possibly weeks before they are able to get him out of the cave, which is too narrow in places for a stretcher to pass through.

Mark Dickey awaiting doctor’s permission to transport out

Friday 8 September 2023 06:00 , Ariana Baio

On Thursday, the European Cave Rescue Association provided an update to Mark Dickey’s condition and the possibility to exiting him from the cave.

“The patient’s medical condition is stabilized. With support, he could move slowly [sic] on his own and is feeling better,” the press release said. “Technical teams are actually preparing the cave for transporting him out smoothly. As soon as the doctors are giving their permission, the transport will start.”

GoFundMe set up for rescue efforts

Friday 8 September 2023 04:00 , Ariana Baio

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up to benefit the rescue teams involved in helping extract American Mark Dickey from the cave in Turkey.

“This fundraiser is started on behalf of the National Cave Rescue Commission (for whom Mark is also an instructor) and will be used to be distributed to the rescue teams to cover the logistical costs of aiding him out of the cave.”

Click here for the GoFundMe.

Map shows where the Morca cave is

Friday 8 September 2023 02:00 , Ariana Baio

Communication between officials and cavers is difficult

Friday 8 September 2023 01:00 , Ariana Baio

Extracting Mark Dickey from the Morca cave is already a challenging feat.

But to make matters more complicated, communication between the underground team and the surface team is very limited.

Runners are being used to travel from the camp where Mr Dickey is to the surface where a telephone line is to speak with officials, according to AP.

Watch: Rescue operation underway for ill American stuck deep in Turkish cave

Friday 8 September 2023 00:00 , Ariana Baio

Doctors deciding if Mark Dickey can walk out of cave

Thursday 7 September 2023 23:00 , Ariana Baio

As of Thursday afternoon, Mark Dickey’s condition was improving and doctors were considering if he still needs a stretcher to leave, the Speleogical Federation of Turkey said in a press release.

Mr Dickey initially was determined to need a stretcher to leave after experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding.

Expedition was intended to set up camps and survey

Thursday 7 September 2023 22:00 , Ariana Baio

The expedition that Mark Dickey set about on in the Morca cave was intended to help set up camp, survey the cave and collection information, a friend of Mr Dickey’s told The Associated Press.

Justin Hanley, a 28-year-old firefighter from near Dallas, Texas, said he met Mr Dickey a few months ago when he took a cave rescue course Mr Dickey taught in Hungary and Croatia. He described Mr Dickey as upbeat and as someone who sees the good in everyone.

“Mark is the guy that should be on that rescue mission that’s leading and consulting and for him to be the one that needs to be rescued is kind of a tragedy in and of itself,” Mr Hanley said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Watch: Mark Dickey’s message from the cave

Thursday 7 September 2023 21:00 , Ariana Baio

What happened to Mark Dickey?

Thursday 7 September 2023 20:30 , Ariana Baio

While on an exploration of the Morca cave in Turkey, Mark Dickey fell ill, causing the mission team to stop and alert authorities in the hopes to recieve medical attention.

It began with severe gastric pain that was escalating quickly.

Though there was initial hope that Mr Dickey could exit the cave on his own, the pain turned into gastrointestinal bleeding.

The Speleological Federation of Turkey sent a medical team and six units of blood in the following days in the hopes of stabilising Mr Dickey’s medical situation.

While doctors worked to assist Mr Dickey, cave experts began putting their teams together to figure out how to rescue Mr Dickey through one of the deepest, and very complicated, cave systems.

“A long and challenging rescue operation is initiated to carry Mark out on a stretcher,” the ECRA said in a statement.

How international teams plan to rescue Mark Dickey

Thursday 7 September 2023 19:50 , Ariana Baio

To tackle the issue of rescuing Mark Dickey, the team of international experts has divided up the depths of the cave and assigned it to a specific team to figure out a solution for that specific area.

At multiple very narrow spots, a demolition team will need to widen them so Mr Dickey can pass through on a stretcher. They will also need to set up several camp spots on the way up to continuously monitor Mr Dickey and give him and his team sections to rest in.

To make the matter more complicated, communication between the underground team and the surface team is limited. Runners are being used to travel from the camp where Mr Dickey is to the surface where a telephone line is to speak with officials, according to AP.

Hungarian Cave Rescue Service member, Marton Kovacs, told CBS News that they were also addressing the danger of falling rocks in several places. The Hungarian team is working between the 590 to 1180-feet depths

Mr Kovacs said Mr Dickey’s exit will take several days and they hope to begin on Saturday or Sunday depending on Mr Dickey’s condition.

Mark Dickey delivers message to people on surface

Thursday 7 September 2023 19:20 , Ariana Baio

In a video, obtained by The Associated Press, caver Mark Dickey shares a message to the people on the surface.

“Hi! Mark Dickey from nearly a thousand meters,” Mr Dickey begins.

“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. I was very close to the edge.”