The Saint Paul was a hospital ship, its function was to provide medical assistance to the numerous French vessels fishing off Iceland´s coasts. The Saint Paul had assisted many fishermen. Easter of 1899 the Saint Paul encountered bad weather near Meðalland and ran aground next to the Kúðafljót river estuary. All on aboard, including doctors and a chaplain, made it ashore.
The Saint Paul played a vital role in the provision of medical care to French fishermen. That season alone it was estimated that there were 4000 French fishermen in Icelandic waters.
The French authorities built hospitals in Reykjavík, Vestmannaeyjar and in the village of Fáskrúðsfjörður on the east coast.
The old French hospital in Fáskrúðsfjörður village in the East Fjords of Iceland has been renovated and converted into an elegant hotel and restaurant. In the hotel there’s a fine exhibition tracing the history of French cod fishing off Iceland´s coasts.