Dramatic rescue underway for renowned American caver stuck 3,700 feet underground

Mark Dickey was exploring Morca Cave when he fell ill  (Sourced)
Mark Dickey was exploring Morca Cave when he fell ill (Sourced)

A desperate rescue effort has been launched to save an American scientist trapped more than 4,000ft underground in Turkey’s third-deepest cave.

Mark Dickey, 40, himself a cave rescuer, fell ill as he explored Morca Cave in the south of Turkey with a team of 14 fellow explorers.

After the descent, he was treated for a serious gastrointestinal bleed on the cavern floor and now needs to be hoisted to safety.

A GoFundMe has raised nearly £30,000 to fund his safe release from the extensive cave network aided by more than 100 firefighters, police, international cavers and medical staff.

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A statement on the fundraiser read: “He has gastrointestinal bleeding and when the report was received, he was clearly unable to leave the approximately 1,000-metre deep cave on his own.

“The injured caver is a well-known figure in the international speleological community, a highly trained caver, and a cave rescuer himself. In addition to his activities as a speleologist, he is also the secretary of the ECRA medical committee and an instructor for cave rescue organizations in the USA.

“An international rescue effort is on the way and this GoFundMe is to support the logistics of aiding in this rescue.”

Morca Cave is located in the middle of the remote Taurus mountain belt with even deeper areas still to be explored and mapped.

According to local reports, Mr Dickey’s health is “steadily improving”, and he will be safely evacuated in the coming days.

Mr Dickey has been caving since the 1990s and is chief of New Jersey Initial Response Team - a team focusing on cave, cliff, and abandoned mine rescues in the United States.

He had been planning to explore Morca’s chimneys that could go deeper in the cave and take fungus samples, according to his website.

Click here to donate to the Gofundme appeal.