Jane Hitchins suffers cracked bones and ruptured spleen after ‘monstrous' wave sweeps deck

A Kent woman taking part in the Clipper Round the World Race has been transferred to hospital after a ‘monstrous’ wave swept the deck of her yacht.

Doctors at Highland General Hospital in Oakland, California, have confirmed that Dr Jane Hitchins, medic onboard the Clipper Race yacht Geraldton Western Australia, has four cracked ribs, a cracked vertebra and a ruptured spleen.
Hitchins, 50, and three other crew on deck were injured when a wave, described as ‘monstrous’ by the yacht’s skipper Juan Coetzer, swept the deck during leg 6 of the Clipper Round the World Race, from Quingdao to San Francisco. Of the four, only Hitchins and her fellow crew member Nik Brbora, 27, from London, were deemed to be in need to medical evacuation.
Geraldton Western Australia was 400 miles off the Californian coast when the wave struck on Saturday. The yacht was out of shore-based helicopter range so the US Coast Guard cutter Bertholf steamed to a rendezvous, transferred the two casualties by RIB, then steamed to San Francisco.
The Bertholf and Geraldton Western Australia both arrived in San Francisco last night, where Hitchins and Brbora were transferred to Highland General Hospital.
The incident follows the evacuation of Birmingham’s Nick Woodward, 55, in February following a head injury onboard Gold Coast Australia in the fifth leg from Singapore to Quingdao.



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