Firefighter swimming the English Channel for charity goes missing as search called off
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Iain Hughes, crew manager at Wednesbury fire station, West Midlands, set off from the Kent coast on Tuesday morning (June 20) accompanied by a support boat, but went missing during the swim in French waters. A major search operation involving the French and Belgian military was underway, but has now been called off.
Mr Hughes, 42, had trained for nearly two years for his cross-Channel charity swim, according to his employer, the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS). His Just Giving page had raised more than £5,000 of a £21,000 target for the British Heart Foundation, Firefighters Charity, and Midlands Air Ambulance – representing £1,000 for each mile of his swim.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, WMFS chief fire officer Wayne Brown said: “Iain’s disappearance is unspeakably sad.
“We are giving Iain’s family all the support we can at this distressing time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and everyone close to Iain. He is a highly respected and much-loved colleague and friend to many.”