73-Year-Old Man Survives 5 Days in the Wilderness After His Raft Flips Over in Idaho River

Thomas Gray was found safe on Wednesday, May 22 — five days after he launched a cataraft from Marsh Creek

<p>Custer County Sheriff Idaho/Facebook</p> Custer County Marine Deputy John Haugh (left) and 73-year-old Thomas Gray

Custer County Sheriff Idaho/Facebook

Custer County Marine Deputy John Haugh (left) and 73-year-old Thomas Gray

An Idaho man has opened up about being lost in the wilderness for days after his raft flipped over in a local river.

Thomas Gray, 73, was found safe on Wednesday, May 22, five days after he launched a cataraft from Marsh Creek, according to a news release from the Custer County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO).

Gray found himself in trouble when “a series of log jams” caused his vessel to break apart and led him to sustain a leg injury.

Authorities said Gray attempted to raft down Dagger Falls the next day, but was “flipped and ejected” from his boat at the base.

Related: Teen Sustains Only Scrapes After 400-Foot Fall into Washington National Forest Canyon

Luckily, Gray was able to swim to shore. He climbed the nearby mountain and hiked toward the Boundary Creek Launch site, where he remained for the next two nights due to his injury.

Gray stayed in the boat ramp’s outhouse for two days before making his way toward Fir Creek Pass. By Tuesday, May 21, he found shelter in the Bruce Meadows Snowmobile Club trailer.

On Wednesday, Gray continued down Bear Valley Road, but grew “too exhausted to continue” about three miles below the pass, according to the sheriff’s office. That same morning, two people spotted Gray in the snow while traveling into Boundary Creek.

“Several first responders” who were on board the vehicle at the time “immediately began to render aid,” per the CCSO.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

"If they hadn't come along, he probably wouldn't have lasted much longer," said Custer County sheriff's marine deputy John Haugh, per NBC affiliate KSL-TV. "He was in pretty bad shape when they got him."

After meeting with authorities at the Mountain Village Restaurant in Stanley, Gray was “reunited with his wife” at the sheriff’s office.

Related: Bear Mauls 15-Year-Old Boy as He Watches TV in Arizona: ‘Got Him on the Nose and the Cheek’

Gray walked an estimated 23 miles between May 19 and May 22, according to the CCSO. He had “no food” throughout the ordeal, “and was only able to drink out of creeks and eat snow.”

“He was resigned that this was not going to end well,” Haugh explained, per KSL-TV.

The CCSO thanked “all who helped create a positive ending to this situation.” Meanwhile, Haugh reminded those venturing into the wilderness to never go alone, and be as prepared as possible.

The sheriff's marine also recommended having a satellite communicator for such excursions.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.