Motor sailboat Ernst Jaakson
The 35-metre long and 8-metre wide three-masted motor sailboat Ernst Jaakson (Alar) is the largest old boat to survive in Estonia. The boat was built in 1937–1939 in the Village of Õngu on Hiiumaa Island. Most of its life was spent abroad. Now after 50 years, this giant has been brought back for restoration to the Sõru Harbour in Hiiumaa, which is the only wooden boat restoration centre in Estonia.
The first captain was Arnold Türi, whose father, Villem Türi, was one of the owners. One of the first jobs for Alar was carrying wood. Unfortunately new winds began to blow. In the summer of 1940 the boat began to carry construction material for the Soviet army bases from Loksa to Saaremaa. The ship had many different captains. The Estonian – blue/black/white flag, which was there only a year, was replaced with the red flag in August.
At the beginning of the war the crew somehow wasn’t sent to Leningrad and so Alar stayed in Estonian waters during the war. At the end of the war the owners of the ship and the crew with families (altogether 144 people) prepared to escape on board the Alar to neutral waters of Sweden. But their plan was betrayed to the German security police and they got caught in the port of Kõrgessaare. The seized ship was taken to Haapsalu, where women and children were released. The men were taken to a prison in Tallinn. Many of them were sentenced to death. This wasn’t completed as the Russian army came closer.Some of these men were able to go to Sweden later. The Germans took Alar under their flag and by the name of Kurland to Germany.
Several years later captain Arnold Türi, who had moved to the United States, found his ship of youth in the port of Hamburg. He took it to England. It was thoroughly rebuilt there and renamed “Arne”. It was sent again to sea with an Estonian crew and at first under the flag of Panama.
The captain sold the ship to Sweden and it worked under the Swedish flag until 1968. Captain Türi bought this ship, which needed thorough reconstruction, back from Sweden and took it to the port of Hobro in Denmark.
For several reasons the reconstruction took decades. 60 years after starting to build Alar there was an idea in Estonia (who was now free again) to bring this miraculously saved ship back to Estonia. On July 28, 1998 Alar was towed from Hobro to Hiiumaa. The ship, which was made at Õngu beach, had come home after 59 years of adventures.
On September 14, 1998 Estonian ambassador Ernst Jaakson (whose roots were in Hiiumaa) was interned at Kensico cemetery in the United States of America. The Emmaste local government renamed the ship after him Ernst Jaakson. This decision has a symbolic power. Both Alar and Jaakson served Estonia in the same way mostly from overseas.
It is a waypoint on the journey
Sorry, this object is not part of any journeys
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