A US caver who fell ill more than 1,000m underground has recovered sufficiently for a rescue team to begin moving him out, a Turkish official has said.
The operation to rescue Mark Dickey could last three to four days, the official added.
The 40-year-old began suffering gastrointestinal bleeding while on an exploration mission with a handful of others inside the 4,100ft (1,276m) deep Morca cave in southern Turkey last Saturday.
Mr Dickey earlier released a video message saying he’s “up and alert but not healed on the inside”.
The New Jersey-based cave rescue group that Mr Dickey is affiliated with said he had been bleeding and losing fluid from his stomach but has now stopped vomiting.
He has also eaten for the first time in days.
It was not clear what caused the medical issue.
The US national fell ill close to the bottom of the crevice at 3,670ft (1,120m) and was later moved to a campsite at a 3,400ft (1,040m) depth.
Mr Dickey is in a stable condition but he will have to stop and rest frequently at various points along the way up, said a medic who is involved in the operation.
“We have three doctors at our camp. During Mark’s transport, there will be one doctor accompanying him at all times, every minute,” said Dr. Tulga Sener.
More than 170 rescuers are on a mission to save him, with members of Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Team joined rescue teams from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Turkey late Thursday.