Photo: IDF Spokesman
Found: The bridge the 'Dakar'
Photo: IDF Spokesman

Admiral says he saw Dakar sink

Egyptian sources tell 'Al-Sharq al-Awsat' that naval school cadets on exercise spotted Israeli submarine; Egyptian vessel gave chase but 'Dakar' submerged and disappeared

What happened that day in January 1968, when the 'Dakar' sank? Egyptian Admiral (Res.) Mohammed Abed el-Majid Azeb told various Egyptian sources that his crew identified the Israeli submarine and even declared war on it.


According to the London-based newspaper "Al-Sharq al-Awsat," Azeb's crew, naval cadets, identified the vessel during a standard training exercise.


Azeb recalled, "When the training ended, I transported the cadets aboard the ship the 'Assiyut,' when one of the cadets noticed a strange object jutting out of the water. It was at that point, that we recognized it to be part of an enemy submarine, which was keeping a parallel course with us."


The Egyptian naval officer said that he decided to attack the vessel, which was in Egyptian territorial waters.


"We declared battle stations and reported what was going on to the commander of the Egyptian navy," Azed said, "but as we got closer to the submarine, it dove to the maximum depth a submarine like that could go."


According to the report, Egyptian military commentators have suggested that the submarine was damaged by an Egyptian depth-charge and had to submerge.


Another Egyptian report


Azeb's account of the "Dakar" is not the only one from Egypt. According to another naval reserve officer, Muhammed Said Hater, he found a television monitor from the submarine in 1974.


Hater saw something shimmering in the waters off Alexandria after a depth charge had been released. When his crew got close to the object, they saw that it was a silver Zenith television set, filled with deep water fish.


Hater, who today works as an advisor to an Egyptian oil company, said he has no doubt that the depth charge was what freed the television set. He asked the Israelis about the found object in order to help find the missing submarine, but he never received a response.


The 'Dakar' set off on January 9, 1968 from Portsmouth, England to the port of Haifa. On board were 69 sailors. On the 24th of the month, contact with the ship was lost, and for a few hours, it was declared missing.


The London paper said the submarine was on a mission to assassinate Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser but never returned home.


In 1999, parts of the 'Dakar' were at a depth of three kilometers along its expected sailing route. An investigation of the wreckage by the Nauticus company and by naval experts determined that the ship sank due to technical problems and not because of a crash or an attack.


פרסום ראשון: 07.02.05, 16:38
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