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Over 3,500 people descended on the villages of Bembridge and St Helens yesterday evening (Monday) for the annual fort walk – making it one of the busiest years to date.

The sun broke through as the afternoon progressed making for idyllic conditions at the seaside, where droves of people from both sides of the harbour channel ventured out in order to reach and walk around St Helens Fort.

Despite the large turnout, the walk is unorganised and unofficial and has no set date or time. Traditionally, the 3/4 mile trek takes place on the lowest tide in August and is normally on a weekday evening.

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In recent years the walk has grown in popularity thanks to social media and is seeing more and more people taking part. As a result, parking was extremely limited with not only The Duver and Silver Sands completely full, but St Helen’s Green was also a sea of cars. Many locals walked to their chosen start point.

Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team were keeping a watchful eye over the walkers alongside Bembridge RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat. It was a good job too as a string of incidents kept the volunteers busy. The first incident saw a young boy conveyed to Bembridge Lifeboat Station at Lane End after suffering an allergic reaction. Shortly after, a search was launched (but quickly stood down) after reports were received of 2 missing children. As the walk wound down 2 girls were plucked from the water by lifeboat crewmen – this led to an appeal being launched through Island Echo.

VIDEO Live streamed to Island Echo’s Facebook page


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