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Firefighters wash cars in honour of missing swimmer

Firefighters wash cars in honour of missing swimmer

  • By Sophie Madden
  • BBC News, West Midlands

Image source, Iain Hughes

Image caption,

Iain Hughes had been attempting a solo swim of the English Channel

Fire stations have held charity car washes in honour of a swimmer who went missing in the English Channel.

The search for firefighter Iain Hughes, 42, was called off on Wednesday and West Midlands Fire Service said it was “heartbroken” by the news.

Many of its fire stations, held events on Saturday to help boost fundraising for his chosen charities.

Bilston Watch Manager, Wayne Dockerty, said they wanted to “continue what Iain was trying to achieve”.

Video caption,

Deputy chief fire officer Simon Barry said West Midlands Fire Service would raise money for charities close to Mr Hughes’ heart

Solihull, Erdington, Walsall, Brierley Hill, West Bromwich, Coventry, Ward End, Tipton and Fallings Park were all among stations to take part.

Mr Hughes, who was based at Wednesbury fire station, had set himself a target of raising £21,000 for three charities – The British Heart Foundation, The Firefighters Charity and Midlands Air Ambulance.

The total on Mr Hughes fundraising page has now gone over £46,000.

Image source, Bilston Fire Station

Image caption,

Bilston Fire Station’s event was “non-stop” said Mr Dockerty

Mr Dockerty said: “It has gone really well, it has been non-stop.

“I had worked with Iain, as many of us had and what has happened has been a massive shock.

“We just wanted to do something to carry on what he was trying to achieve.”

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He said he hoped the weekend’s car washes would help boost the total on the online fundraiser even further.

Crew members at Erdington fire station said they had seen more than 50 cars in four hours.

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Mr Hughes disappeared after starting the solo swim with a support boat on Tuesday.

A search involving military helicopters and navy and police boats took place, but on Thursday morning French authorities confirmed the search had ended and Mr Hughes’ whereabouts remained unknown.

Kent Police said it would continue to work with partner agencies to establish what had happened.

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  • June 24, 2023