Trapped caver awaiting rescue appears in video: ‘I was very close to the edge’

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The American researcher that got sick over 3,000 feet deep inside a sinkhole shared a video message, thanking supporters on the surface.

Mark Dickey, a 40-year-old cave rescuer and researcher, became stuck in the Morca Sinkhole after he was struck with gastrointestinal bleeding at a depth of 3,674 feet underground.

Days later, a massive effort to rescue the trapped researcher began as over 150 rescuers from at least six countries made camp outside the sinkhole in southern Turkey.

‘I want to thank everyone that’s down here and the response from the caving community,’ Dickey said in a video message shared by the Turkish communication directorate. ‘The caving world is a really tight-knit group and it is amazing to see how many people have responded from the surface’

Over 150 rescuers arrived at Morca Sinkhole to assist in the rescue (Picture: REUTERS)

Rescuers are estimating it could take three to four days to extract Dickey from the cave (Picture: REUTERS)

It is unclear exactly when the video was filmed, as Dickey says communication with the surface takes one to two days.

Rescuers have since delivered IV fluids and a total of 4 liters of blood to the caver’s base camp, which is located 3,412 feet down the sinkhole.

AFAD, Turkey’s disaster relief agency, said the doctors sent into the cave were ‘very successful in treating him.’

‘I don’t quite know what’s happened, but I do know that the quick response of the Turkish government to get the medical supplies that I needed in my opinion saved my life,’ Dickey said. ‘I was very close to the edge when Jessica got that to me.’

Mark Dickey was seen in a video, thanking rescuers and the caving community (Picture: via REUTERS)

‘As you can see, I’m up, I’m alert, I’m talking, but I’m not healed on the inside yet. I need a lot of help to get out of here.’

‘This is a difficult operation,’ said Cenk Yildiz, an AFAD regional officer. ‘It would take a (healthy) person 16 hours to come out. This operation will last at least three or four days.’

Dickey also thanked the rescue team, which was coordinated by the European Cave Rescue Association (ECRA).

According to the organization, Dickey serves as the secretary of the ECRA’s medical committee.

‘We take care of our own, and it’s really special to be taken care of,’ Dickey said.

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