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Mark Dickey, team member of Sussex County-based New Jersey Initial Response Team, trapped in Turkey cave

Mark Dickey, a prominent local caver and caving instructor, became sick while 1040 meters deep in the Morca cave in a remote part of Turkey and is unable to return to the surface.

Mark is an extremely capable and experienced caver and is Chief of the Sussex County-based New Jersey Initial Response Team, a local group of volunteers specializing in cave and mine rescue, as well as being an instructor for the National Cave Rescue Commission.

Mark was assisting in the exploration of the Morca cave on Aug. 31 when he suddenly became ill with intestinal problems that rapidly progressed into life-threatening bleeding and vomiting.

He was unable to get out under his own power and only the most experienced of cavers are capable of reaching him to render aid.

The Morca cave is very deep, wet and cold and experienced cavers who know the cave take eight hours to reach the location where Mark lies.The phone lines in the cave have become inoperable, so that communication between the surface and Mark’s location is extremely slow.

Mark’s condition continued to deteriorate as the bleeding continued. On Tuesday, doctors were able to reach Mark with fresh blood and fluids to replace some of what he has lost and his condition was reported to be slightly improved. However, he is still unable to move on his own.

It is reported that rescuers from Turkey, Italy and Croatia, as well as others in Europe and the United States are responding to assist with the rescue. However, the location is very remote and the local water resources are limited. The Turkish military has stepped in to coordinate and to supplement the local resources.

The Turkish Military has now taken control and are organizing the efforts on the surface. The Turkish Military already was able to provide communication wire to replace the broken com wire.

A temporary camp is being prepared at the 700-meter level and rescuers are preparing to move him from 1040 meters, where he is currently, to the camp. There are narrow passages, just big enough to crawl through, in between the two that are being enlarged by demolition teams so that Mark can pass through when he is on a rescue litter.

A 2014 rescue from a similar cave in Germany required 700 rescuers over a week to complete. Meanwhile rescuers and resources are gathering to assist Mark.

To donate to his GoFundMe page, click here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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