Dickey, 40, was removed safely from the cave after an international rescue operation involving more than 150 participants.
A researcher from the United States has been rescued from deep inside a cave in southern Turkey where he had become trapped after falling ill more than a week ago, Turkey’s TUMAF caving federation said,
Mark Dickey, 40, was removed safely from the cave on Tuesday at 12:37am local time (21:37 GMT Monday) after spending more than a week underground with a serious illness, sparking an international effort to rescue him from a depth of 1,040 metres (more than 3,400 feet) inside the Morca cave in Turkey’s Taurus mountains.
“Dickey was removed from the last exit of the cave,” the TUMAF caving federation wrote on social media.
“Thus, the cave rescue part of the operation has ended successfully. We congratulate all those who have contributed!” the federation said.
Dickey was transported by helicopter to hospital at 01:50am local time (22:50 GMT on Monday), the federation added.
More than 150 rescuers from Turkey, Croatia, Italy and other countries worked for nine days to rescue the researcher from what is Turkey’s third-deepest cave.
Dickey, an experienced caver who was part of an international research expedition to map the 1,276-metre (4,186 ft) deep Morca cave system, reportedly became ill with gastrointestinal bleeding and was too frail to make the ascent from the cave by himself.
The cause of Dickey’s illness was not clear.
With the help of a stretcher, rescue teams made frequent stops at temporary camps set up along their exit route.
The biggest challenges for the rescuers were the steep vertical sections inside the cave and navigating through mud and water at low temperatures in the cave’s horizontal areas. There was also the psychological toll of staying inside a dark, damp cave for extended periods of time.
Video clips from phases of the complex rescue operation showed teams moving down through the cave with ropes and making their way through narrow passages. Dickey was also shown receiving treatment from a medical team inside the cave.
Dickey’s parents, Debbie and Andy, thanked the international caving community, doctors, rescuers and the Turkish government for helping rescue their son.
“The fact that our son, Mark Dickey, has been moved out of Morca Cave in stable condition is indescribably relieving and fills us with incredible joy,” they said in a statement.
After his rescue, the head of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, Okay Memis, told a news conference that Dickey’s health was “very good”.
The European Cave Rescue Association said that many rescuers remained in the cave to remove ropes and equipment used during the operation.
The association expressed its “huge gratitude to the many cave rescuers from seven different countries who contributed to the success of this cave rescue operation”.