As Port Elizabeth is prone to violent south-easter wind storms in the latter half of the year, optimism that there would not be a repeat of the 1902 disaster was profoundly misplaced.
1903’s storm season would test whether the rescue services were adequately prepared when nature would once again do its damnedest. Timeless lessons would once again be learnt and relearnt. Would the authorities once again be assailed by a raft of criticism for their maladroit handling of the situation, be damned with faint praise or receive a chorus of approval?
Only time would tell.
Main picture: Rescuers go out on the line during the gale of November 1903