At Lepe Country Park, the distance from the mainland across to the Isle of Wight is less than elsewhere in the Solent. This creates strong tidal currents close to the shore. The currents are strong enough to sweep someone off their feet and too strong to swim against.
DO NOT Swim or Wade in the water at Lepe Spit. Children must not be allowed to paddle there, and should be carefully supervised if entering the water elsewhere in the park.
DO NOT encourage your dog to enter the water at Lepe Spit or Stansore Point. If your dog does get swept away, DO walk along the beach keeping pace with your dog which will then swim to shore where you are rather than trying to fight the current.
Want to know more about the currents?...
High tide at Stansore Point occurs about 15 to 20 minute before high tide at Portsmouth. You can find the times for high tide at Lepe from the TideTimes website.
- Following low tide at Portsmouth: water starts to flow into the Solent towards the east (so looking from Lepe across to the Isle of Wight, the water is flowing from right to left). Maxium eastward current occurs between 5 and 4 hours before high tide.
- About two hours before high tide, the inshore currents start to flow towards the west (so looking from Lepe across to the Isle of Wight, the water is now flowing from left to right).
- Around, and for a few hours after, high tide there is a VERY STRONG westward flow off Lepe. Maximum westward current occurs about an hour after high tide and the current remains strong until near to low tide.
- At Lepe Spit and the Stansore Point area (where there are D-Day remains) very strong currents occur straight off the beach.
The video below demonstrates how the currents change during a tidal cycle using the calculations from a computer model of the tidal flow.
While the currents shown are typical of what might occur, on a particular day the strength and exact timing will vary. The results shown should not be used for navigation!
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