American Cave Explorer Rescued After Medical Emergency

( – If you’re in need of a feel-good moment amidst record-high inflation and the looming threat of nuclear war, read on. An American cave diver who fell ill and became trapped inside a cave in Turkey through no apparent fault of his own has been successfully rescued.

Mark Dickey was pulled from the cavern that otherwise would have been his grave on the anniversary of 9/11 after an extensive international effort. The 40-year-old cave expert, or speleologist, had been contracted by the Turkish government to map an underground cave system in the southern region of the country.

While navigating a section of the cave known as Camp Hope, Dickey was overcome with extreme abdominal pain. It was not your garden variety stomach ache and the explorer began vomiting blood.

He drifted in and out of consciousness and told reporters that he nearly resigned himself to an impending death. The adventurer was too sick and too deep into the system to crawl out on his own. To his fortune, Dickey had not descended into the earth alone and was with a team of fellow experts and researchers when his sickness set in.

Despite not being alone, the explorer still found himself well over half a mile from the cave’s exit. The system his crew was exploring was the sixth-longest and third-deepest in the entire country. Located in the Taurus Mountains, the cave in question reaches depths of almost 4,200 feet.

Although experts were already on hand, many more traveled from elsewhere to assist and support the effort, with more than 170 doctors, paramedics, and fellow cavers descending on the site. The extraction itself was accomplished by dividing the exit route into five separate sections, with each section being handled by experts from a different country.

A large part of the 9-day rescue was a vertical ascent using ropes and pulleys. A video of the moment Dickey emerges from the darkness can be seen here.

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