The history of Portuguese hospital-ships dates back to the fleets in the era of the Great Discoveries. In 1916, during the First World War, the Allies appealed to Portugal to act as a neutral country. All the German ships on the river Tagus were impounded and adapted for tasks related to the war. The Hanseatic line vessel Lahneck had its name changed to Gil Eannes and was modified for troop transport and to give assistance to fishing boats. Many years later, when the old Gil Eanes came to the end of its life and needed to be replaced, a new ship was built in the Viana do Castelo shipyard, using up-to-date designs for a hospital-ship. The new ship was launched in 1955, mainly to assist the Portuguese cod fish fleet, working in the seas around Newfoundland. More recently, it has returned to Viana do Castelo docks and, after restoration, has been transformed into a nautical museum and a student residence, to keep alive the memories of this traditional Portuguese fishermen's activity.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Vesalius : acta internationales historiae medicinae|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2008|