Seldom has Newhaven hit the headlines in recent times except, for example in the dark winter days of 1998/99, when P & O pulled their ferry service from the port, and the occasional drugs haul by Customs.
There have, however, been some freak instances when Newhaven captured the eyes of the nation.
On 10 November 1974, just three days after a very serious attack on his wife and the murder of his nanny, a Ford Corsair borrowed by Lord Lucan was found abandoned in Norman Road, Newhaven. No explanation for its appearance there has been forthcoming.
In 30 May 1996 there was the curious case of the Daubentons bat (Myotis daubentonii) which was found in a very poor condition at the rear of the Hope Inn on the West Quay. Landlady Lynn reportedly said "The chef heard it squeaking and the little thing was really scared. We didn't touch it, but called the RSPB and they put us in touch with the Bat Protection League." This particular species of bat was well away from its known areas of habitat on the Continent and, on investigation, also found to be rabid. This being the first case of rabies reported in the UK since 1969, the incident was considered important enough for questions to be raised in Parliament. The veterinary records say that “a study of the back-trajectories of the wind on May 29 and 30, established that the infected bat possibly came from near the Franco-Swiss border."
On 21 October 1998 there was an unscheduled rapid return of the Dutch sailing ship, Eendracht which went aground on Tide Mills beach soon after leaving Newhaven Harbour during a gale. As with the Athina-B, which made a similar visit to a Brighton beach some years before, the event proved to be a magnet and many people travelled great distances to see this drama unfold. A Dutch tug made repeated efforts to free the 200 ft schooner during the next day but it was not until the 23rd that the vessel was finally dragged off the shingle. The gale continued throughout and the Newhaven lifeboat, accompanied by one of the tiny pilot boats, held station just offshore the entire time.