Thousands of people are expected to descend on Bembridge and St Helens for the annual fort walk once again this year, with Monday 13th August primed as this year’s date.
The Bembridge Fort Walk âor as some may argue the St Helens Fort Walk is a Summer tradition that is believed to be the biggest unorganised gathering on the Isle of Wight. Each year crowds of people walk and wade at low tide to St Helen’s Fort and back again, despite there being no organiser and no set time or date for the event.
Tide timetables show that the best opportunity to complete the walk safely, as a mass crowd, will be on< Monday 13th August a date that has already been circulated on social media and within the local community. For 2018 low tide is listed as around 8.55pm on Wednesday 23rd meaning walkers are expected to start gathering from 5.45pm onwards as they chase the tide out to maximise their time at the fort.>
The popularity of the walk has grown thanks to the likes of Facebook and Twitter with over 2,000 people regularly turning out every August.
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 soÂ at their own risk and that it is likely they will need to wade through water.
Safety advice you should follow:
You are walking at your own risk â 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
â¢ 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)
â¢ Do not leave the shore after Low Water. Do not leave valuables unattended on the beach
â¢ Aim to reach the Fort between 10 minutes before low water and 10 minutes after low water
â¢ The walk is more strenuous than you think
â¢ Keep a close eye on your children (and dogs) â it is a good idea for children to wear buoyancy aids
â¢ Do not swim in the Bembridge Harbour Channel (marked by the red & green buoys) â there may be deep holes due to dredging
â¢ If you are circling the Fort, donât stop to admire the view, keeping walking
â¢ Be prepared to get wet, you can be walking in water up to your waist
â¢ Wear shoes as the causeway is stony; Flip Flops are not suitable
â¢Â Be careful of slipping on the rocks around the Fort
â¢ Carry a means of calling for help (ideally a mobile in a water proof case)