Natalia Molchanova, one of the world’s greatest free divers, is believed to have died during a recreational dive this past Sunday. The 53-year-old Russian champion has not been seen since she went diving without fins in the Balearic Sea, off the coast of Spain. Molchanova was reported missing after being separated from three of her fellow divers.

After two days of search efforts, Molchanova’s son Alexey, who is also a free diver, has said he believes his mother will not be found alive. According to the New York Times, Molchanova’s record dive without fins was 71 meters or 233 feet and she also became the only woman in free diving history to break the 100-meter barrier. Molchanova holds 41 world records and is a 23 time world champion.

Advertisement

“Birth and death are important, but freediving competitions are just games for adults,” Molchanova had once said.


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.

Image via AP.