Kevin Boudreau, who was found alive and seemingly well after being missing in the woods of Bear Island in New Brunswick for five days, says he simply got lost.
"I turned off the road, that's what happened," he told CBC's Redmond Shannon, just minutes after being located by search crews on Wednesday afternoon, following an extensive air and ground search.
"In unknown woods, I didn't know nothing about. I just kept wandering and wandering," said Boudreau, 41, who is developmentally delayed.
"I don't how I ever got out of there, but I did," he said, chuckling to himself.
Several people cheered as Boudreau was helped onto a stretcher, Shannon reported from the scene, located about 45 kilometres west of Fredericton.
Boudreau appeared weak, but in good spirits, and was very thirsty, Shannon said.
He was transported to a hospital for a medical evaluation.
Boudreau was last seen Friday around 2 p.m. RCMP had said they believed he took an all-terrain vehicle from a camp located off Route 105 and became stuck in the woods.
He was located Wednesday at about 1:40 p.m. on a snowmobile trail near Scotch Lake Road — about six kilometres from where he went missing.
It was two local men — Laurie Prosser and James Morrison — who were participating in the search who found him.
"We were just having a coffee, just sitting waiting to go again, and Kevin walked around the corner, on the trail," said Prosser.
"I was flabbergasted and so was he. He said, 'I'm some glad to see you.' I says, 'You're not half as glad to see us as we are to see you.'"
Prosser said Boudreau had lost his shoes, but was otherwise in remarkably good condition for someone who spent five days lost in the woods.
"He was more dehydrated than anything. And tired, but he did sleep at night, he said. He did lay down."
Many area residents feared for Boudreau's safety, said Prosser.
"It's pretty rough territory out through there. A lot of old cedar swamps and blow-downs from [post-tropical storm] Arthur. She's rough going through there."
A teary Jane Boudreau said she was beginning to worry her son might never be found.
"I'm so excited … I can't thank everybody enough," she said, referring to the volunteer search effort. "Just amazing, all their work."
Her husband, Ronnie Boudreau, agreed.
"I'm feeling great now, and these people, they've done a wonderful job," he said.
More than 50 people had been searching around the clock for Boudreau since Saturday morning, when he was reported missing.
"The RCMP would like to thank Ground Search and Rescue personnel from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, along with Kingsclear and Keswick area fire departments, the Red Cross, the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety and local volunteers for their help," Sgt. Joel Saule, of the Oromocto detachment, said in a statement.
A team of volunteers from the Canadian Red Cross provided support to the searchers for three of the five days, said spokesman Dan Bedell.
They provided hundreds of meals and bottled water for the search parties, as well as an area with cots and blankets for any searchers needing a rest, he said.