Natalia Molchanova is Missing

Natalia Molchanova is Missing

August 07th, 2015, 20:00 Moscow time

We will certainly meet together to once more remember Natalia. It will be at the end of August or in the beginning of September. The exact date and place will be on the website and the Facebook page of the Federation. 

We all need a little time to cope with reality, to understand and recollect our feelings.

August 6th, 15:00 Moscow time

Different versions are appearing online, we are all looking forward to understand what happened. Thus here's what we can say from our Moscow based prospective:

1. August 2, approximately between 3 and 4 pm local time, Natalia Molchanova was lost at sea near the Formentera island.

2. She was freediving.

3. Near her in the water where several freedivers, and a dive-boat was near the group for safety and transportation.

4. This was recreational freediving for fun and leisure, not competition, neither training or teaching.

More precisely a witness told us the following:

1. After one of the dives, instead of surfacing near the group, Natalia was briefly spotted surfacing,  at estimated 60 m from group.

2. After a short laps of time afloat, she disappeared under the surface

3. Meanwhile the boat was moving in her direction, but before it reached her, she was not visible anywhere.

The local Search and Rescue service added:

1. The depths at the dive spot are from 35 to 65 m.

2. Strong underwater currents can occur on the spot.

Further details about the tragedy, appearing in the medias, might not be reliably supported by evidence. Many questions are legit, but for now we call the freediving community to show some critical thinking and restrain towards interpretations, comments, theories, or judgments оf personal actions, appearing in the media. Especially since the сauses of the accident are for the moment unknown, and even may stay mysterious forever. Let us try to find the right balance between curiosity, search of information and respect of Natalia's memory. We keep the contact with the Spanish investigators, they are our source of information for now.

August 6th, at 12:00 Moscow time 

The search for Natalia Molchanova is still going on near the Formentera island. Aviation and rescue boats are patrolling the area. Search and Rescue services are in constant contact with us and there's no doubt they do everything possible in a thorough and professional way. Unfortunately there's no findings about where is Natalia or what went wrong. The Freediving Federation of Russia will make public any new information as soon as it will become available. We are really grateful to all of you for your support and compassion and the desire to help. Right now we do have all the means to continue and maintain the search effort.


Contact: Galina Zveryaeva                                                                                     August 4, 2015

molchanovalexey [at] list [dot] ru

For Immediate Release

The Worlds Most Accomplished and Famous Female Freediver, Natalia Molchanova, is Missing.

Formentera, Spain. Natalia Molchanova was recreationally freediving off the coast of Spain on August 2, 2015 when she was separated from her peers. She was diving without fins to around 30 to 40m and supposable got into strong underwater current. Search efforts have been ongoing during daylight hours and the next day since she was reported missing by three peers. She disappeared while diving approximately two miles northwest of the port of La Savina at Poniente de es Freus.

Natalia Molchanova is the most decorated competitive freediver in the world, holding 41 World Records and is a 23 time World Champion in Freediving. Natalia trained hard for her sport, she had a nine minute breath hold, could dive to a depth of 101m using a fin and swim a distance of 234m with a fin. Along with being one of the top athletes in the world she has a PhD in Pedagogical Science and has authored multiple scientific articles and two freediving training handbooks. She is the creator and current president of the Freediving Federation of Russia. She designed and taught freediving programs all over the world. She is based out of Moscow and has created one of the most vibrant recreational freediving communities in the world. Natalia has trained thousands of people to freedive in locations worldwide.

Natalia is a proud mother of Oksana and Alexey. She loved children and was awaiting the day when she would become a Grandmother. 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. She said “birth and death are important, but freediving competitions are just games for adults”. 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. 

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