Greece has joined Israel in a renewed search for the Israeli submarine Dakar, which vanished 24 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean with 69 crew members aboard.
Naval vessels of the two countries launched an exploration Wednesday off the coasts of the islands of Crete and Rhodes for debris that may have been surfaced after the Israeli submarine disappeared on Jan. 25, 1968.
The vessel was on its delivery voyage from Britain, where it had been purchased and taken over by the Israeli navy.
The location of the search is based on an analysis of mineral residues on an emergency buoy that has turned up and remains the only evidence from the Dakar to be found to date.
The analysis, taken together with an appraisal of the prevailing winds and tides on the day of the submarine’s disappearance, pointed to the island of Crete.
Israel first realized the Dakar was in trouble when it failed to make contact – scheduled every eight hours – at 8 a.m. of the day it was posted missing. A subsequent massive sea and air search, in which Israel was joined by British, American and Greek forces, met with no success.
An official Israeli request to Athens for permission to search in Greek territorial waters was expedited by the Israeli ambassador to Athens, David Sasson.