A group of suspected illegal immigrants was taken into custody after jumping off a boat at Sovereign Harbour on Saturday.
The harbourmaster contacted Sussex Police, and 15 people immigrants arrested just after midday.
It is thought 15 of the arrested men were illegal immigrants from Albania, and another man was arrested on suspicion of arranging entry in to the UK.
The group is now in the hands of the UK Border Agency.
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said, “Police were called to Sovereign Harbour at Eastbourne around midday on Saturday (November 14) where several illegal immigrants had been found trying to get off a docking boat.
“15 men were detained by officers and are now being dealt with my Home Office Immigration Enforcement.
“A 40-year-old man from Hurstpierpoint has been arrested on suspicion of intentionally arranging entry into the UK. He has been bailed until February 23 while investigations continue.”