Thousands of people are expected to don their walking boots and put their best foot forward tomorrow evening (Monday) for the annual Bembridge Fort Walk – believed to be the biggest unorganised gathering on the Isle of Wight.
According to local forecasters IW Met Service, it appears conditions for tomorrow’s anticipated walk will be reasonable. There will be a fairly fresh breeze running through the Solent and this, combined with low pressure being fairly close by, looks likely to elevate sea levels ever so slightly at around 0.1 meters or slightly higher.
Tide timetables show that the best opportunity to complete the walk safely, as a mass crowd, will be on Monday 13th August. For 2018 low tide is listed as around 18:55 meaning walkers are expected to start gathering from 17:45 on wards as they chase the tide out to maximise their time at the fort.
Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team and Bembridge RNLI are expected to be in attendance in the interests of safety, but those taking part are warned that they do so at their own risk and that it is likely they will need to wade through water.
VIDEO Alan Doe of Bembridge RNLI has this advice for those thinking of heading out to the fort…
Safety advice you should follow:
• You are walking at your own risk – this is not an organised event. Locally it is described as a ‘happening’
• Check the weather forecast before you go. Do not attempt the walk in high winds or poor visibility
• It takes approximately 30 minutes to walk from the shore at Bembridge Point or St Helens Old Church to St Helens Fort and 30 minutes to get back to the beach (i.e 1hr round trip)
• Do not leave the shore after Low Water.
• Do not leave valuables unattended on the beach
• Aim to reach the Fort between 10 minutes before low water and 10 minutes after low water
• The walk is more strenuous than you think
• Keep a close eye on your children (and dogs) – it is a good idea for children to wear buoyancy aids
• Do not swim in the Bembridge Harbour Channel (marked by the red & green buoys) – there may be deep holes due to dredging
• If you are circling the Fort, don’t stop to admire the view, keeping walking
• Be prepared to get wet, you can be walking in water up to your waist
• Wear shoes as the causeway is stony; Flip Flops are not suitable
• Be careful of slipping on the rocks around the Fort
• Carry a means of calling for help (ideally a mobile in a water proof case)