News out of Canada..
The former warden of the Municipality of the District of Digby severed up to four fingers and part of his left hand during a tug of war contest in Bear River on Saturday.
Paramedics rushed Jim Thurber to hospital with "serious hand surgeries" around 3:15 p.m., an Emergency Health Services spokeswoman confirmed later in the afternoon. He arrived in serious condition at Valley Regional Hospital, Krista Beck said.
It seemed a small blessing that the 59-year-old former politician is right-handed, his son said on Saturday evening.
"I’m not certain, but I’ve been told it’s the four fingers," Cory Thurber said. "He’s on his way to Halifax, if he’s not there already for surgery . . . Apparently, they got the fingers on ice quickly (and) there might be a good chance of them being able to attach them."
Thurber retired from municipal politics last month after serving as warden for 10 years.
Tim Wilson, whose wife organized the fall festival, said the tug of war contest is an annual tradition in the community. The Bear River waterway divides Annapolis and Digby counties and residents try to pull the other side across the bridge that divides their regions.
At first, the contest seemed lively and competitive Saturday, each side digging in to try to gain ground, another witness said of the 50 people taking part.
"There were men, women, children, (and) people in period costume," Patty Busby said Saturday evening. "They were pulling pretty hard and it was just looking like fun. People were cheering and then, all of a sudden, people at the far end started waving their hands and yelling ‘Stop, stop, stop.’ "
A few voices began to shout for paramedics and an RCMP member who had been walking around the festival grounds ran to the scene.
It’s unclear exactly how the accident happened, but Busby said Thurber reportedly wrapped the rope around fingers during the competition.
"It was shocking, definitely," she said. "One second, you’re sitting there cheering and the next minute you have something very tragic happen."
Paramedics transported a 59-year-old man from the Valley Regional Hospital to Halifax for treatment after he severed four fingers and a portion of his hand, a 7:30 p.m. report on the police scanner said. A spokeswoman for the Annapolis area hospital could not confirm the man was Thurber.
Now that the former warden’s schedule had cleared, he planned to spend more time on the golf course, his son said. The sport is one of his favourite pastimes.
"It’s tough to think about," Cory Thurber said. "Hopefully, they can do a good job (with the surgery). He likes golfing and that won’t be possible, or easy, anymore."
All I can say is I can't imagine too many things I'd be THAT invested in a tug-of-war for. (I love how his son is worried about the golf game...."hope they do a good job...he loves his golf...) ;-)
It'd take a pretty shiny pair of Louboutins to get me into it. ;-)