THE search for a missing Dudley firefighter who was swimming the English Channel has been called off.

Iain Hughes, aged 42, went missing on Tuesday while attempting a solo swim to raise funds for the Firefighters' Charity, Midlands Air Ambulance and The British Heart Foundation.

He was declared missing on the same day and a search by Belgian and French rescue teams was unable to locate the father of two.

West Midlands Fire Service 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.”

Mr Hughes joined West Midlands Fire Service in 1999, at the age of 19.

He was posted to Bournbrook fire station, and later served at Billesley, Tipton, Wolverhampton, Tettenhall, Bilston, Brierley Hill and Stourbridge.

He was promoted to crew manager in 2016 and joined the Technical Rescue Unit in 2022 based in Wednesbury.