First-person footage shows inside Turkish cave where American explorer is trapped 3,400ft below surface
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First-person footage has emerged of the cave where Mark Dickey is trapped.
It comes after the 40-year-old was on an expedition in the Morca cave when he suddenly became ill, suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding.
The European Association of Cave Rescuers said that Dickey was on the expedition with three other Americans, with rescue teams subsequently setting off to help them.
The cave was only discovered in 1996, with a group from ASPEG (Anadolu Speleoloji Grubu Derneği) going on to explore the cave system in 2012.
In a video uploaded by members of the group, they stated that the cave had caught the attention of cavers who uncovered a huge sinkhole with water gushing and a 20m ice block.
Following the initial exploration, the explorers returned and documented their findings.
The video, which has since been uploaded to YouTube, makes for eery viewing showing ASPEG members abseiling against the limestone rock.
As one of the biggest caves in Turkey, those involved in the expedition search its multiple chambers and claustrophobia-inducing tunnels.
Even more terrifyingly, those brave enough to enter have to ensure they remain out of the path of potential water - especially in the summer when torrential rain can flood the cave.
It’s unsurprising then that rescue efforts to save Dickey are incredibly complex, involving over 150 cave rescue experts.
In an emotional video update, the 40-year-old revealed that ‘close to the edge’ before rescue teams reached him.
He told the press: “I do know that the quick response of the Turkish government to get the medical supplies that I need, in my opinion, saved my life. I was very close to the edge."
The rescue effort all started on Wednesday (September 6) and is reportedly still being carried out.
While someone in good health might be able to escape within 15 hours, this won’t be the case for Dickey who remains unwell.
Experts have said it will be a challenge to successfully remove Dickey, indicating that a stretcher may be required to complete his exit from the cave.
According to the Associated Press, the American has been able to keep in touch with those at the surface thanks to a specialised phone as he awaits his rescue.
Here’s hoping that he gets to feel the sunshine on his face soon.