Dakar


Dakar
   Israeli submarine that sank on its maiden voyage on 27 January 1968. The Dakar was built in 1945 and was bought from Great Britain in June 1965. It, along with other craft, underwent extensive renovations in Portsmouth Harbor. On 9 January 1968, the sub left Portsmouth. On 24 January, as it was believed to be passing south of Crete, it lost radio contact. Sixty-nine crew members were lost with the sub. A series of naval searches turned up no trace of the vessel, but 13 months later, one of its emergency buoys washed ashore in Egypt, and there had been no sightings since. Searches off the Egyptian coast, made possible in the 1980s after relations between Israel and Egypt improved, were unsuccessful, as was a reported expedition near Rhodes, a Greek island that lies close to Turkey's Mediterranean coast. Because the submarine was lost only months after Israel fought a war against Egypt, some theorized that it might have been attacked by Egyptians or their Soviet allies. There is no evidence to support that theory, however, and Israeli experts say they still believe there could have been a collision, fire, mechanical failure, or other accident. Despite the time that had passed, Israel kept the investigation into the Dakar's fate active. Families of the victims banded together in a loose support group and assemble each year at a memorial that stands in a Jerusalem military cemetery. The wreckage of the submarine was finally found on 28 May 1999, 9,514 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea between Crete and Cyprus.
   See also Israel Defense Forces (IDF; ZAHAL).

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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