Police still trying to confirm details of hunter’s three-week disappearance
Published Monday, December 10, 2012 5:14PM CST
Last Updated Monday, December 10, 2012 6:50PM CST
Winnipeg police are still working to confirm details of a hunter’s three-week disappearance in Manitoba’s Sandiland forest.
Brad Lambert went on a hunting trip on Nov. 15 and never returned. After an exhaustive search and multiple appeals to the public for help finding the man, he finally resurfaced on Dec. 8, over three weeks later.
Lambert said he became lost in the wilderness after his truck got stuck in mud and survived on water for the duration of the ordeal.
"There was soft ice, mud and water and that's when I was sucked in," said Lambert.
Trapped and without GPS, Lambert said he had no idea where he was or how to get out.
A member of the search-party who went looking for Lambert said it’s very easy to get turned around in the forest.
“You could wander in circles for days,” said Archie Chabot, a hunter who knows the Sandilands Provincial Park well. “The will to live is an amazing thing I guess.”
Lambert said he lived solely on water for the three weeks and didn’t have anything but an apple with him that he ate on the first day. Lambert said he lost 40 pounds during the three weeks.
"I think that anyone with an extra 40 pounds might be able to do the same thing," said Lambert.
Survival expert David MacDonald said Lambert’s survival story is impressive. "He's extremely lucky! And my hat's off to him,” said MacDonald.
Lambert said he knows there are some skeptics – people who wonder if the ordeal happened at all.
"I don't really know what to say to any skeptics except I -- this is what happened," said Lambert.
Though the feat is shocking, MacDonald said surviving for three weeks without food is possible.
"He must have had quite the will to survive to make it this long,” said MacDonald. “Obviously he had some food or something along those lines otherwise he probably wouldn't have walked out for the most part. He would have been too weak to walk out."
Lambert was able to walk out and said after three long weeks he managed to find a small path that lead to a road. He said he was unable to follow his tire tracks back to where he drove in from because the path was too dense and he was driving a heavy-duty truck.
On Dec. 8 he was eventually picked up by a passing truck and taken home.
"I thought about food a lot. I was hungry but what was on my mind was my family and my friends and coming home,” said Lambert. He said he’s still very tired and has lost some sensation in his fingers as a result of his time lost in freezing temperatures.
Lambert said he’s thankful for all of the people who spent days looking for him.