An American cave rescuer has himself been stuck in a cave since Saturday, after falling ill while traveling in Turkey.
More than 150 rescuers are involved in the “complex” operation to save Mark Dickey, a 40-year-old instructor for the National Cave Rescue Commission. He began suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding during a research mission in the Morca Cave, located in southern Turkey’s Taurus Mountains.
Dickey, described as “a highly trained caver and a cave rescuer,” was part of a team attempting to locate and chart a new passage through the cave, which is the third-deepest in Turkey, according to the Turkish Caving Federation. He is currently inside, roughly 3,400 feet from the entrance, and is able to walk with assistance now that his bleeding has stopped.
Six units of blood have since been delivered to him, according to the federation, which is leading the rescue efforts. His condition is currently stable.
Yusuf Ogrenecek of the Speleological Federation of Turkey, said Dickey was in “good spirits” Thursday, adding that it would be up to doctors to decide if he leaves the cave on a stretcher or under his own power.
News of Dickey’s dire situation first came Saturday, when the Hungarian Cave Rescue Service said it received a call explaining that a caver inside the nearly 4,100-foot deep cave was ill.