Natalia Molchanova: 53-Year-Old Free Diver Feared Dead After Dive Off Spain’s Coast

Natalia Molchanova was known as the greatest free diver, and after she didn’t surface after a recent dive, authorities fear that she is dead. According to the New York Times, Molchanova was on a chartered boat off the coast of Spain this weekend. She prepared for the free dive — defined as a “modest” depth (about 100 feet). After doing some standard breathing exercises for relaxation purposes, Molchanova dove in the water. However, she didn’t come back up.

“She then proceeded to attempt a recreational dive to a depth that was modest for her, and she never resurfaced. After two days of intense search efforts, Alexey said Tuesday afternoon that his mother, 53, was not expected to be found alive.”

Natalia Molchanova was a world record-breaking free dive champion. According to United Press International, Molchanova was with a group of friends, just diving off the boat for fun. A statement by the International diving federation (known as AIDA) was released on Tuesday.

“The cause of Natalia’s disappearance is unknown, but she was doing what she loved. Natalia has a passion for freediving that burned so deep inside of her that she dedicated her life to it. She was an inspiration to all freedivers and despite being one of the fiercest competitors in the world, she was always calm and relaxed during competitions.”

Those who knew Natalia Molchanova had nothing but wonderful things to say about her. It is clear that she will be missed.

“She was a free-diving superstar and we all thought nothing could harm her. 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,” said Kimmo Lahtinen, the president of AIDA (via the New York Times).

“The world has lost its greatest free diver. I don’t think anybody would dispute that,” said Will Trubridge, a 15-time world-record holder in free diving.

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Natalia Molchanova was just 53-years-old. Her son came to terms with her death and feels better knowing that his mom is in a place that she loved so much.

“It seems she’ll stay in the sea. I think she would like that,” he said.

Molchanova wasn’t the only athlete who died this week. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Mel Farr, who played for the Detroit Lions, passed away in his home on Monday.

[Photo via Divot / Wikimedia Commons]