World-champion freediver Natalia Molchanova missing off Ibiza

A search is underway off Spain for Natalia Molchanova, the world’s most accomplished freediver, who has been missing since Sunday.

Molchanova, 53, failed to surface after one of a series of dives off the island of Formentera, near Ibiza, Spain, in the Mediterranean Sea.

She was with three others in an area known for strong currents, and simply vanished.Local authorities continue to search a wide area from boats and aircraft during daylight hours, according to a report in Deeper Blue.

However, on Tuesday her son Alexey was mentioned in a New York Times story as saying he didn’t think his mother would be found alive.

Molchanova’s remarkable list of accomplishments includes 41 world records and 23 world championships.

Freedivers rely on only a single breath while exploring the ocean’s depths, either for sport or a means of recreation.

Molchanova, the founder and president of the Freediving Federation of Russia, competed around the world in various disciplines.

She can hold her breath for nine minutes, and once dove to a depth of more than 300 feet.

Molchanova, a mother of two, was diving without fins Sunday in 79-degree water, and it remains unclear what might have happened. Besides powerful currents, there is heavy boat traffic in the area.

Alexey Molchanova, also a world champion freediver, had flown to Ibiza to participate in the search

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