Kent yachtswomanJane Hitchens breaks ribs in round-world race
by Nicola Everett
A Kent woman has been injured
taking part in a round the world yacht race.
According to race organisers it
happened when a large wave hit one of the 10 68-foot yachts
taking part in the competition during a storm.
Dr Jane Hitchins, 50, who is on
board the Geraldton Western Australia, suffered four suspected
broken ribs - three other members of the crew from Britain and
Australia were also hurt.
It's believe Dr Hitchens works
for the East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust.
All crews' families have been
An operation is now under way to
get medical supplies and assistance to the crew, who are about 400
miles off the California coast in the Pacific Ocean.
The US coastguard is arranging
for a team to parachute down to the yacht to look after the
casualties - a nearby container ship is also diverting to the
Race director Joff Bailey said:
"We are naturally concerned at the recent incident on Geraldton
Western Australia and are in close contact with the skipper, UK
Maritime and Coastguard at Falmouth and the US Coast
"The safety of all Clipper Race
crew is extremely important to us. Our skippers are highly
experienced and several crew members on board have medical
"A deep depression hit the fleet
earlier today, with winds gusting over 60 knots. First reports
described the yacht being caught by a large wave. We will issue
more details as soon as we have them."
The race, which covers 40,000
miles and takes 11 months to complete, started in the UK last
The yachts have already
travelled to South America, South Africa, Australia and New
For more information,
go to the race website.
- Click here for more news from across the county...