Probably the biggest maritime disaster that ever took place on the Port Elizabeth coastline happened way back during the Great Gale of 1902. On Sunday, 31 August 1902 there were 38 ships at anchor along the then North End Beach. Rain and a south-easterly wind started to lash the bay and by midnight the storm turned into a hurricane. By the end of the storm on 2 September 1902, 18 of the ships had been stranded on the beach, while the rest all had major damage. The dead were buried in the South End Cemetery and thousands lined the route to the cemetery as the funeral processions went by with surviving ship-mates carrying the coffins of those that died during the storm. A memorial stands in the South End Cemetery with all the names of those who died during the storm.