INS Dakar was a diesel–electric submarine in the Israeli Navy. The vessel, a modified World War II British T-class submarine, had previously been HMS Totem of the Royal Navy. She was purchased by Israel from the Government of the United Kingdom in 1965 as part of a three T-class submarine deal.
Dakar and her entire 69-man crew were lost en route to Israel on 25 January 1968. Despite extensive searches over the course of three decades, its wreckage was not found until 1999, when it was located between the islands of Cyprus and Crete at a depth of approximately 3,000 m (9,800 ft). The submarine’s conning tower was salvaged and is on display outside the Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum in Haifa.
The exact cause of Dakar‘s sinking remains unknown. It was one of four mysterious submarine disappearances in 1968; the others were those of the French submarine Minerve, the Soviet submarine K-129, and the U.S. submarine USS Scorpion.
At 06:10 on 24 January 1968 Dakar transmitted her position, 34.16°N 26.26°E, just east of Crete. Over the next 18 hours she sent three control transmissions which did not include her position. Her final broadcast was at 00:02 25 January, after which no further transmissions were received.
On 26 January the British Admiralty reported the submarine was missing and gave the last known position as 100 miles (160 km) west of Cyprus. An international search and rescue operation began, including units from Israel, the United States, Greece, Turkey, Britain and Lebanon. Although the Israeli Navy in Haifa began broadcasting calls to commercial vessels to be on the look out for Dakar, Israeli officials would not admit the submarine was missing.
On 27 January, a radio station in Nicosia, Cyprus received a distress call on the frequency of Dakar‘s emergency buoy, apparently from south-east of Cyprus, but no further traces of the submarine were found. On 31 January, all non-Israeli forces abandoned their search at sunset. Israeli forces continued the search for another four days, ceasing at sundown on 4 February 1968.
Israel denied that Dakar sank as the result of hostile action. It stated that Dakar was involved in crash diving exercises on its return voyage and was probably lost as a result of a mechanical failure. On 25 April 1968, Vice Admiral Avraham Botzer, commander of the Israeli Navy, stated that Dakar sank on 24 January 1968, two days before being reported missing, due to «technical or human malfunctioning» and not «foul play».