Mark Dickey Rescued from Morca Cave in Turkey

By Ysabel Garza

October 27, 2023

A caver's worst fear while on the job is being stuck below the surface in the dark, in a winding tunnel of a cave thousands of feet from the entrance. Unfortunately for 40-year-old American caver Mark Dickey, this nightmare was a reality.  Being trapped in a relatively small cave in your own country is one thing, but unfortunately, the American had been trapped in the third deepest cave in Turkey; Morca Cave.  Located in southern Turkey’s Taurus mountains, Morca Cave is one of the deepest caves in Turkey, often described as intricate and complex, with many tight, vertical, descending shafts, and very few horizontal, with depths reaching 4,186 feet (1,276 meters) 

Rescue efforts from Turkish specialists to safely rescue Dickey

Mark Dickey, an experienced and accomplished caver, had been a part of a research group on an international exploration mission in one of the deepest caves in Turkey, Cave Morca, in hopes of mapping deeper parts of the cave, when he began unknowingly suffering from an episode of gastrointestinal bleeding.

The episode snuck up on him out of nowhere. He reported no previous problems with gastrointestinal bleeding, but he had been experiencing abdominal pain and ignored it, continuing the mission and descending deeper into the cave.  When he was too frail to keep going, he and others on his team including his fiancee Jessica Van Ord, a caver on the same mission, knew something was wrong and contacted Turkey’s emergency services, who showed up as soon as possible.

Mark Dickey being interviewed after he was rescued

Dickey was said to have lost so much blood and fluids in the days he was trapped in the cave that rescuers had to offer him an outstanding amount of electrolytes and a blood transfusion while still trapped in the cave.  Immediate rescue efforts from Turkish specialists, Dickey’s fiance, and fellow teams of experienced cavers aided in the rescue of the American caver, and Mark Dickey was rescued twelve days after he was reported trapped, optimistic, and in high spirits.

      During the hospitalization of Dickey, VanOrd was asked by ‘Good Morning America’ about her partner's condition, she remarked, “Mark is doing great. He's able to sit up, talk, and is back to his normal self. We’re very happy to be here.”  Mark Dickey is expecting a speedy and healthy recovery. 

For more information:

Scientist Mark Dickey's fiancée says he's doing 'great' in hospital after being rescued from Turkish cave following twelve day ordeal and asks for donations to GoFundMe 

‘Amazing to be above ground’: American rescued from cave in Turkey after being trapped for days 

Mark Dickey’s fiancé assists with rescue effort to save stranded caver 

Turkey cave rescue survivor Mark Dickey on his death-defying "adventure," and why he'll "never" stop caving 

US researcher Mark Dickey rescued after 9 days trapped deep in Turkish cave