Motor sailboat Ernst Jaakson

Sõru sadam, Pärna küla

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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