Huge rock breaks off famous sea stack near Isle of Wight

Dramatic images show huge slab of rock broken off from famous sea stack near Isle of Wight after it collapsed in strong winds

  • A section of Mermaid Rock on the Isle of Wight has collapsed into the sea
  • Wind gusts of up to 92mph were recorded at the nearby Needles attraction
  • The sea stack was formed by a large cliff fall in 1969 from coastal erosion

A famous sea stack suffered a partial collapse after being battered by strong winds over the weekend.

Part of Mermaid Rock slipped off into Freshwater Bay off the Isle of Wight’s south coast on Sunday.

The island’s cliffs were hit with strong winds and rain over the last few days, with gusts as high as 92mph being recorded at the nearby Needles attraction. 

Part of Mermaid Rock slipped off into Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight’s south coast on Sunday after a weekend of strong winds battered the island’s coastline 

Images taken by a local photographer show before and after the moment a 30-foot slab collapsed off its side. 

Paul Mocroft from nearby bed and breakfast The Bay told OnTheWight: ‘It’s not as impactful as when the Arch Rock came down, but the difference to the vista in the bay is instant.’

Some joked on social media that the stack now resembles a ‘sea creature’ emerging out of the water ready to take a bite from the cliff edge. 

Others suggested it looks like the Pac Man video game character, and so could be renamed ‘Pac Stack’.

 Some joked on social media that the stack now resembles a ‘sea creature’ emerging out of the water ready to take a bite from the cliff edge

The Mermaid Rock sea stack was formed by a large cliff fall in 1969, and high wind speeds and exposure to wave erosion has seen the rock be worn down over the last half a century.

Its centuries-old neighbour Arch Rock infamously collapsed in 1992, leaving behind two smaller piles.

The area was designated an AONB in 1963 and covers almost the entire coast and half of the Isle of Wight. 

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