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World-Famous Free Diver Disappears In Practice Plunge

Russian Natalia Molchanova shows the minus 86 metres tag that gave her a win in the first women's free-diving world championship on September 3, 2005 in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Molchanova retained her world champion status. (Jacques Munch/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian Natalia Molchanova shows the minus 86 metres tag that gave her a win in the first women's free-diving world championship on September 3, 2005 in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Molchanova retained her world champion status. (Jacques Munch/AFP/Getty Images)

Natalia Molchanova was seen as one of the world’s top free divers of all time. She collected medals and broke records, plunging hundreds of feet on a single breath.

Until Sunday, she took what’s been described as a modest dive – for her – off the east coast of Spain, and never resurfaced. Her son said yesterday afternoon that she was not likely to be found alive.

Journalist James Nestor followed Molchanova’s diving career. He joins Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd to discuss what might have gone wrong during the dive.

Guest

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