Tampa Police Chief loses fingertip in boat accident - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Police Chief loses fingertip in boat accident

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor describes it as no big deal, but her right index finger is bandaged up tightly. The tip of it is missing nearly down to the knuckle.

She said the accident happened on June 9th, when she was attempting to lower her boat off the boat lift, but the belts on the motors got stuck.

"I reach up, which is something I should not do, and spin the fly wheel," Chief Castor explained. "Somebody called me and I got distracted and it just happened before I knew it. Cut off the tip of my finger."

Castor said she saw a hand surgeon at Tampa General Hospital, and normally in this type of case, the tip of the finger would be removed down to the knuckle. But this happens to be Castor's trigger finger, so the doctor is saving as much of it as he can. In several months, he will take a tendon and nerve, and put them over what's left of the tip of her finger, so she still has feeling.

It's an important concern in her line of work.

After the accident, Castor couldn't wear her uniform or sidearm for a week. She had to requalify with her gun before she could wear it again. She practiced pulling a revolver at her desk to get the motion down, and practiced shooting with a different finger. She went to the firing range on June 21st and requalified as a master, shooting 38 out of 40 shots.

"It's not a big deal," she said. "Clearly, at the time it happened, it was painful, and it is what it is. I'm dealing with it."

Castor is not without a sense of humor about the whole thing. She joked that her retirement plans to become a hand model are over now. But she can still fulfill one dream.

"I did ask the doctor if I'd be able to play piano. He said yes, which is a big relief, because I've always wanted to play the piano."

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