A RNLI lifeboat was blocked from going to rescue migrants out at sea by angry people on a beach in Hastings.
The group of protestors were shouting abuse at the volunteer staff and physically blocked the rescue boat from entering the sea, a witness has said.
Zoe, from Hastings, who was walking on the beach with her boyfriend at the time of the incident, told LBC that she heard 'horrible' and 'hateful' abuse being shouted at the RNLI volunteers, who were preparing to respond to a call out at sea.
She said: “On Saturday (20th November) my boyfriend and I were just on the beach and we heard the lifeboat station opening up and thought 'oh they have a call' and started watching.
"There was a group of fisherman pulled up, gutting fish on the shore, and as the boat station opened up we heard the fisherman start shouting things like 'don't bring any more of those home, we're full up', 'that's why we stopped our donations', and that kind of really horrible stuff.”
"The lifeboat crew pulled the boat out and were going to go into the water and some of the fishermen deliberately came out with their buckets and stood directly in the line of the boat so the boat couldn't be put in the water.
“It was really upsetting, and you could hear the hatred in their voices,” added Zoe.
This comes after 27 migrants were reported to have died after their boat capsized while attempting to cross the Channel. A vigil for that group was held on the Stade in Hastings Old Town.
Zoe said the police were called and the RNLI has since confirmed this.
A spokesperson for the RNLI told LADbible: “We can confirm an incident was reported to the police. The lifeboat was able to launch and the station remains on service.”
Sussex Police told LADbible in a statement: "Just after 4pm on Saturday, November 20, police were made aware of reports of a disturbance near to the Hastings RNLI Lifeboat Station. A police officer attended the scene while also being supported by colleagues monitoring the situation on CCTV. No arrests were made."
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: UK News