The Oldest Lighthouse Keeper of Russia
One of the tasks of the Hydrographic Society Russia is gathering and studying of materials on the history of Russian hydrography. HSR informs its members of the major historical events in the field of the hydrography and also about veteran hydrographers.
One of these veteran hydrographers is captain 2nd rank (retired) Jury Tyurin. On 24 October 2012 he will turn 85.
He graduated from the hydrographic faculty of the Frunze Naval Institute in St. Petersburg in 1949. He then served in various divisions of the Pacific fleet of the Hydrographic service until 1957 where he participated in geodetic and hydrographic work, developed a network for navigation equipment on the Sakhalin and Kurile Islands. From 1957 to 1977, Jury Tyurin served in the Black Sea Hydrographic service. His last post was chief of the Sevastopol area of the Hydrographic service.
In 1978, Jury Tyurin retired and became the chief of the Ai-Todor lighthouse in Crimea (Crimea is now part of Ukraine, but former Soviet lighthouses have remained under the Russian Navy Hydrographic service.) This lighthouse was constructed in 1835 by order of the round-the-world seafarer, the Black Sea fleet commander admiral Michail Lazarev.
From 1982 to 1983, Jury Tyurin participated in round-the-world Antarctic navigation on the oceanographic research vessels Admiral Vladimirsky and Faddey Bellinsgausen.
As an enthusiast of lighthouse affairs, Jury Tyurin has housed a museum of lighthouse services and round-the-world expeditions in the lighthouse with a collection of unique exhibits. During his 34 years of service at Ai-Todor lighthouse it was visited by remarkable and outstanding people, including cosmonauts, naval commanders, writers and scientists, politicians and artists. In August 2012, HSR secretary Valentin Smirnov visited the lighthouse. On behalf of the HSR members he congratulated Jury Tyurin on his upcoming birthday.
Despite his age, he now watches that green light of the Ai-Todor lighthouse that reliably served all seafarers.