A FISHERMAN who was on the beach when a lifeboat was reportedly blocked from helping migrants claims the incident has been "blown out of proportion".

Peter Coglan hit back at claims that a group of fishermen blocked an RNLI lifeboat on Hastings beach.

Mr Coglan, from Hastings, said it was “not the case whatsoever” that they had stopped volunteers from going to the aid of a migrant boat.

The Argus tracked down Mr Coglan, owner of the Clara June fishing vessel, to question him over the incident after it was reported on radio station LBC.

Mr Coglan told us that he does not like migrants crossing the channel on boats but "there is nothing I’m going to do about it".

He said: "It’s totally been blown out of proportion. We didn’t stop them from landing and we didn’t stop them from going".

Mr Coglan admitted he was part of a group fishing at Hastings beach at the time of the incident on November 20.

The fisherman said he was throwing some small fish back in the sea when an RNLI volunteer shouted at him to get out of the way of their boat.

The Argus: Migrants arriving in Hastings on November 11Migrants arriving in Hastings on November 11

Mr Coglan said a member of the public, who was not part of their group, started shouting at the RNLI for collecting migrants.

He said: “Some fella who was apparently a lorry driver, he’s raring up on the lifeboat people for collecting immigrants or something.

"He was nothing to do with us whatsoever, this guy was up at the lifeboats having a go at them.”

Mr Coglan said the woman who reported the incident to LBC did not understand the context and was "totally out of order".

The woman, only named as Zoe, called in to James O'Brien's show to say that a group of people "stood directly in the line of the boat" so it could not be put in the water.

Mr Coglan added: “We were standing around having an argument, the boat could have gone down past us.

The Argus: The RNLI came under fire for saving migrants in the summerThe RNLI came under fire for saving migrants in the summer

“What she’s done is gone up to the RNLI afterwards and asked them what the aggravation was, of course they told her the man was ranting about these immigrants, it’s totally out of order and nothing to do with the fishing fleet, nothing to do with us whatsoever."

The RNLI confirmed an incident was reported to the police.

Sussex Police said they responded to a "disturbance" but no arrests were made.

A spokeswoman said: “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.”

Have you got a story for us? Email news@theargus.co.uk or contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01273 021 400.