Marquel, TPVs NYTimes as Deep As You Can Section correspondent, was holding his breath while crossing Chinatown, when he read Free Diver Natalia Molchanova Remains Missing Off Spain.
The search for free-diving great Natalia Molchanova was set to resume Wednesday with little hope remaining she would be found alive more than two days after disappearing off Spain’s Balearic Islands. Marquel was fascinated by the “little hope” qualification to this story of a world record holding Russian free diver whose maximum depth and time stands at around 75 meters and perhaps eight minutes. The world record for submerging is either eleven minutes or twenty, depending.
“It’s a mystery. But she can really hold her breath so it’s not out of the question. Meanwhile we’re searching.” He said.
“No usually she just stays at the end of her rope.” he answered.
“But we don’t know. She might have taken an excursion. We’re checking the currents and tides. She’s very adventurous.” He said, flashing a Russian smile, revealing his missing Russian teeth.
“Yes. If she drifted towards Ukraine, for instance, I’d be very worried.” He said.
“Well they don’t like Russians. We’re also looking into Norway. They’ve been on a campaign against Russian submersibles and that describes mamuscka to a T.” He said.
“Anything might have happened. That’s why we still have hope.” He said.
He flashed his smile again. I could see his tonsils. He looked at his mobile which had beeped. “Aha!”
“Maybe. Maybe not. They found a flipper on the beach at Réunion island. It could belong to mamuscka.” He said.
“Yes but four days could lead her anywhere.” He said.
“Yes, she could.” He was tapping a message to Réunion, I guessed, so backed out quietly.