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Families of Dakar Crew Told Hope Abandoned for Submarine

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The families of 69 officers and crewmen of the missing Israeli submarine Dakar were assembled at General Headquarters here last night and told that the intensive search for the undersea craft that began 11 days ago has been called off. The such went missing on Jan. 25 and has not been heard from.

Meeting the bereaved families were Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Chaim Bar-Lev and Admiral Shlomo Erel, commander-in-chief of Israel’s Navy. They said that everything will be done to determine what happened to the Dakar and solve the mystery of her disappearance. Admiral Erel disclosed that the submarine, which Israel purchased from Britain, was not armed on her maiden voyage from Portsmouth Naval Base to Haifa. Even her quota of torpedoes was shipped to Israel by other means. Because the vessel was light, she was ordered to make the voyage submerged, Admiral Erel said.

Chief Chaplain Shlomo Goren of Israel’s armed forces, said that the families of the Dakar’s crew do not have to sit shiva (the traditional seven-day mourning period) at this time because it is possible that some clue will be found to the fate of the submarine and her men. Rabbi Goren said a date for shiva will be set later.

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