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Search for Sunken Israeli Submarine

A specially equipped U.S Navy aircraft carrying Israeli and Egyptian observers began a systematic search over Egyptian territorial waters Saturday for traces of the Israeli submarine Dakar which disappeared 18 years ago.

The mission, to have begun a week earlier, was delayed because the Egyptian authorities refused to allow the plane to take off from the Alexandria airfield. The search for the Dakar, however, is a joint effort by Israel and Egypt with technical assistance and equipment provided by the U.S.

The search plane, an Orion. P-3 reconnaissance aircraft equipped with magnetic detectors, carries a crew of 22. If the wreck is spotted, future searches will be conducted by surface craft employing sophisticated underwater equipment. They would include underwater television cameras similar to those used by a French team which found the wreck of the liner Titanic off Newfoundland last summer.

The Dakar, a British submarine of World War II vintage purchased by Israel, was lost with her 69-man Israeli crew on her delivery voyage to Haifa. The undersea craft was last heard from on January 25, 1968.

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