47 Years Later, Israel Issues Last Report on Sunken Submarine

August 31, 2015  

Forty seven years after it disappeared, the Israeli Navy has released all the information it has about the sinking of the Dakar, the submarine which disappeared with its crew in January, 1968.

Navy Commander Ram Rothenburg met with bereaved families as the Navy submitted its official report on the tragedy, in which 69 crew members were lost.

Rothenburg said Monday that the families of the crew members have been given all documents relating to the Dakar’s disappearance, including several that have been top-secret until now.

“In the past, the families received portions of these documents and of the previous reports submitted about the tragedy,” he said. “Now the picture will be complete for the families.”

The submarine went missing on January 25, 1969, and remained lost for 30 years – with the vessel found intact on the bottom of the Mediterranean, between Cyprus and Greece.

The cause of the sinking of the submarine is still unclear, but there was no evidence of emergency action by the crew, nor of an attack by enemy vessels, as has been claimed by Egypt in 1970.

Rothenburg said that the IDF’s best guess had narrowed down the cause of the sinking to two possibilities.

“Either there was a technical failure that caused the submarine to sink, with the crew unable to raise it, or that an external object damaged some of the submarine’s sensors and caused it to sink,” he said.

Today, he said, it was unlikely that the Dakar tragedy could repeat itself, as the Navy had learned and implemented many lessons on long-term submarine voyage management.

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