Mark Dickie “In the hands of the rescuer. He looks fine at first glance. He will take a helicopter to Mersin hospital,” Recep Salci of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said on Tuesday, after footage emerged of him emerging from the cave with a smile on his face.
“It’s amazing to be above ground again,” said Dickey, who was speaking near the cave in a medical tent.
He thanked rescuers and the Turkish government, who he said “saved my life without asking any questions,” adding: “I have been underground for much longer than expected due to an unexpected medical problem.”
The Turkish Cave Federation said Diki had a suspected intestinal hemorrhage while inside the 1,276-meter (4,186-foot) deep Murca Crater in the Murca Valley.
The European Cave Rescue Association (ECRA) received a phone call on September 2 saying he was suffering from severe stomach pain.
Turkish Government Communications Directorate/AP
American caver Mark Dickey, 40, was trapped inside the Murca Crater in southern Turkey.
An international rescue operation led by at least 200 relief workers began on Saturday. ECRA said the operation planned to divide the cave into seven parts and assign responsibility to rescue teams from different countries – including the United States, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and Turkey – at different depths.
Rescue teams took Dickey to a depth of 180 meters (590 feet) below the surface, eventually recovering him from the cave.
In an update on Monday, the Turkish Caving Federation said Diki’s rescue was scheduled to be completed “tonight or tomorrow.”
“If all goes well, we aim to have Mark fully rescued by tonight or tomorrow,” the federation said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
There was a doctor with Dicky inside the cave, and the rescue team was receiving instant messages from them via a fixed communications line.
Rescue the Italian Alps/Reuters
Members of the Italian Alps Rescue Team, pictured on Thursday, taking part in an emergency operation to rescue Dickie.
The Turkish Cave Federation said Dickey was removed from the cave’s final exit at 12:37 a.m. local time, in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Thus, the cave-saving part of the operation ended successfully. We congratulate all those who contributed,” the union said.
Dickey is an instructor with the National Cave Rescue Committee, where he has worked for 10 years, according to the National Cave Rescue Committee website. Cave Academy, a non-profit caving organization founded by Dickey. He is also Secretary of the Medical Committee of the European Cave Rescue Association, and Executive Director of the Caving Academy.
He began exploring caves in the 1990s and has discovered caves in 20 different states in the United States, and in 10 different countries. The site said.
Correction: The title of this story has been corrected to reflect how long Dickey was trapped.
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