Tags: natalia molchanova | free diver | missing | dead

Natalia Molchanova: Free Diver Presumed Dead After Disappearing in Water

Image: Natalia Molchanova: Free Diver Presumed Dead After Disappearing in Water
Natalia Molchanova of Russia reacts after she set a new world record, holding her breath underwater for 7 minutes and 16 seconds, during the static apnea women final event at the 1st Individual World Freediving Championship in Pool, in Renens near Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday, Aug. 26, 2005.(AP Photo/Keystone/Fabrice Coffrini, file)

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Aug 2015 12:21 PM

Natalia Molchanova, a Russian free diving champion, went missing off Formentera, near the Spanish island of Ibiza, on Sunday and is presumed dead.

Molchanova, considered "the most decorated competitive free diver in the world" by the International Association for Development of Apnea, was recreational diving near the island and never surfaced after being separated from other divers, BBC News reported.

"She was diving without fins to around 30 to 40 (meters) and supposable got into strong underwater current," AIDA said in a statement on its website. "Search efforts have been ongoing during daylight hours and the next day since she was reported missing by three peers."

"She disappeared while diving approximately two miles northwest of the port of La Savina at Poniente de es Freus," the statement continued.

Alexey Molchanova, Natalia's son who is also a free diver, said Tuesday that he does not believe his mother will be found alive, according to The New York Times.

Free diving is the act of diving with one breath without the aid of breathing apparatus.

Molchanova held 41 freediving world records and was crowned as a world champion 23 times, according to AIDA. She was the founder and president of the Freediving Federation of Russia and dedicated herself to teaching freediving programs around the globe.

"Natalia trained hard for her sport, she had a nine-minute breath hold, could dive to a depth of 101 (meters) using a fin and swim a distance of 234 (meters) with a fin," AIDA said in its statement. "Along with being one of the top athletes in the world she has a PhD in Pedagogical Science and has authored multiple scientific articles and two freediving training handbooks."

The New York Times wrote that Molchanova started her aquatic career as a competitive swimmer in Russia before taking a break to start a family.

"She was a freediving superstar, and we all thought nothing could harm her," Kimmo Lahtinen, AIDA president, said to The Times. "Nothing could happen to her, but, you know, we are playing with the ocean, and when you play with the ocean, you know who is the strongest one."

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Natalia Molchanova, a Russian free diving champion, went missing off Formentera, near the Spanish island of Ibiza, on Sunday and is presumed dead.
natalia molchanova, free diver, missing, dead
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2015-21-05
Wednesday, 05 Aug 2015 12:21 PM
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