As the rope tightened, a horrific accident occurred which saw the experienced wakeboarder lose four of his fingers. As the severed digits sunk to the bottom of the lake, Mr Galassi conceded all hope of them being retrieved and perhaps sewn back on again. He joked, "They are probably fish food by now."
Little did Mr Galassi realize his fish-food "joke" was to later prove accurate. In fact three months later in early September, fishermen Nolan Calvin and Mark Blackstone were also on Priest Lake enjoying a weekend fishing trip together. The fishermen were at least eight miles away from the area on the lake where Hans had lost his fingers.
When the fishermen later cut open the trout they made the grim discovery of finding the pinkie inside the trout's gut. The Priest Lake
fishermen alerted police, who in turn wrapped the digit in ice and checked cold case files and police reports, according to the BBC
Forensic teams matched the fingerprint to the 31-year-old wakeboarder's medical report. Police offered to return the missing pinkie to Washington-based Galassi but he declined and told them he didn't want it. The Reporter
reports, Galassi had been airlifted to Spokane Hospital after the accident and now has only half of his index and pointer fingers on that hand.
Police will hold on to the finger for a few weeks in case Mr Galassi changes his mind.