Spanish emergency services suspended the underwater search for missing freediving champion Natalia Molchanova on 5 August.

Her diving peers called emergency services after the sportswoman failed to surface while doing a recreational 30-40m-deep dive in Formentera on 2 August, according to a statement by her family. It said the 53-year-old was diving without fins when she supposedly swam into strong underwater currents; she was also believed to be wearing 6kg weights to aid with her descent, a common freediving practice.

Spanish emergency services had been searching for Molchanova with the help of boats, divers, a helicopter and an underwater robot. After failing to find her, they decided to move the search to the surface.

Molchanova holds 41 world records and was a 23-time world champion in freediving, descending with only the air in her lungs. She could hold also her breath for over nine minutes. The Russian star was diving two miles off Formentera, a small island near Ibiza.