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Russian free diving world champion Natalia Molchanova missing near Ibiza

August 05, 2015, 12:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The president of the Russian Federation of Freediving went missing in a part of the sea where currents at the surface and at depth are said to be unpredictable and strong
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© AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Fabrice Coffrini

MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. Natalia Molchanova, the world’s most decorated free diver, is reported missing off the island of Formentera near Ibiza, Spain, National Geographic said on Tuesday.

The 53-year-old champion free diver went missing on August 2 while freediving with her friends. She did not surface after a recreational dive to 30-40 meters without fins.

She might have been caught by a strong current, National Geographic said. According to Molchanova’s fellow divers, she went missing some three kilometres northwest of La Savina de es Freus, a part of the sea where currents at the surface and at depth are said to be unpredictable and strong.

Molchanova, the president of the Russian Federation of Freediving, is the holder of 41 world records and a 23 times world champion.

Freediving is a form of underwater diving that relies on divers' ability to hold their breath until resurfacing rather than on the use of a breathing apparatus such as scuba gear.

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