Saturday 10 December 2016

Free diver Natalia Molchanova feared dead after failing to resurface

Published 05/08/2015 | 12:29

Natalia Molchanova went missing off the coast of Formentera (AP)
Natalia Molchanova went missing off the coast of Formentera (AP)

The search for free-diving great Natalia Molchanova has resumed with little hope remaining she would be found alive more than two days after disappearing off Spain's Balearic islands.

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Aida the international diving federation, said in a statement that Molchanova had been diving without fins at a depth of 30-40 metres (98-130ft) off the coast of Formentera island when she failed to resurface on Sunday.

Maritime rescue co-ordinator Miguel Chicon said the operation was "very complicated" because the 53-year-old Russian could have become trapped by weights she was wearing at the time of the dive.

A submersible robot was brought in to expand the search on Tuesday.

Molchanova was among the most decorated competitors in free-diving, a sport in which participants swim as deeply as they can while holding their breath.

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