Major General (Ret.) Gaash of the Israeli navy has been involved with the search for the lost submarine for eighteen years, and was instrumental on the last expedition which eventually found the submarine. Gaash serves as an adviser to the production with his rare insight to the world of underwater navigation.
I will never forget that terrible Saturday, when we heard these horrific words on the radio together with everyone else: communications with the submarine DAKAR was lost…the world turned upside down…our blood stopped…my younger brother Chaim Bar-Zeev (Reichberger) was on it…we were supposed to welcome him in two days…happiness turned into deep sorrow. Not knowing what happened is the worse…every navy soldier that I saw in the street – I had to go up to him, look him in the eye, and check that he’s not my brother…
A mother of three, along with many other family members of DAKAR’s lost crew, Tzipi participated for 31 years in all facets of the campaign to continue the search and find out what happened to their loved ones.
I will help the national quest and provide Israel with the opportunity to spend some time searching for DAKAR using our research submarine, NR-1, which would be operating soon in the Mediterranean.
Tragically, Admiral Boorda committed suicide in May of 1996, distraught over questions about the legitimacy of some of his combat medals. However, his promise to Israel was not forgotten, and plans were hatched to devote a few weeks of ship time to the effort following a Bob Ballard mission in the summer of 1997.
“…when we first looked at the wreckage, she looked alive…as if she will set sail and rise from the seabed…but as we kept going we saw that something terrible had happened…”
In 1968, as the Executive Officer (X.O.) of the LEVIATHAN, Gideon had to inform the sub’s commander, Yomi, about the loss of his brother and formed a deep personal connection with the story. Decades late, he led the new search committee which eventually brought the astounding discovery of DAKAR.
Yomi received the message that his brother Boomie (DAKAR’s Deputy Commander) is missing while commanding DAKAR’s sister ship, the LEVIATHAN. On 28 May 1999, Admiral Alex Tal, Commander in Chief of the Israeli Navy, personally called to inform Yomi that the American search team had found DAKAR. That same day, a 31 years of wait for his brother’s whereabouts ended immediately after he received the message when Yomi committed suicide.
With great sorrow I have to announce that the submarine DAKAR drowned, and all of her crew of sixty nine men are no longer alive…if the Israeli Defense Forces will ever possess the right search capability at their disposal, we will examine the possibility to conduct such a search, and continue to monitor every sign which can shed some light on the location of the submarine DAKAR as well as the possible reasons for her demise…
Ret. Lieutenant General Dayan, Israel’s 4th Chief of Staff, delivered his speech as Minister of Defense in the Knesset’s Chamber (Parliament) and added:
Mr. Chairman, with sorrow and with pain I delivered the message from this podium to you and to our entire nation about the loss of the Israeli Navy Ship DAKAR. Please allow me to offer the Israeli Government as well as my own sincere condolences to the bereaved families…their mourning became the nation’s mourning…a great loss came upon us…a wonderful crew representing the best of our sons fell while serving our country…we will carry on with their life mission and continue to empower the naval forces of Israel.