Sixteen years after its discovery by Nauticos, on August 31 the Israel Defense Forces gave the families of the 69 Israeli sailors killed in the sinking of the Israel Navy’s Dakar the complete report on the submarine’s disappearance 47 years ago. Nauticos submitted its report of technical findings and forensic studies in 2000. As told in my book, Never Forgotten: The Search and Discovery of Israel’s Lost Submarine Dakar, the evidence strongly supports a flooding accident in the forward compartment (torpedo room), leading to a loss of depth control and plunge to the bottom. According to the Times of Israel, “The Israel Navy’s investigations concluded that the demise of the Dakar was caused either by loss of control or a technical failure, but didn’t rule out the possibility that the submarine collided with another vessel.”
Nauticos found no evidence for collision, but this remains a popular theory in the Israeli Navy. Certainly, the bridge fin that we recovered in 2000 showed no signs of impact. For a collision to cause flooding in the bow, one would expect some evidence of damage; however, the bow of the vessel is intact and undisturbed.
The site has not been revisited since our 2000 survey and investigations, and there are no plans to return. May the 69 brave sailors of Dakar be never forgotten!