FIREFIGHTERS based at Brierley Hill and Tipton have raised thousands of pounds for charity in honour of colleague Iain Hughes who went missing hours into a fundraising swim across the English Channel.

Charity car washes were held at stations across the West Midlands this weekend to raise money as a tribute to West Midlands Fire Service crew manager Iain from the Technical Rescue Unit at Wednesbury, who had embarked on the solo swim to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation, The Fire Fighters Charity and Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.

A major search and rescue effort got underway after the 42-year-old, who had been accompanied by a support boat, went missing on Tuesday June 20 but sadly Iain could not be located and it was called off on Wednesday evening (June 21).

Dudley News: Iain Hughes pictured in Dover, Kent.Iain Hughes pictured in Dover, Kent. (Image: Instagram - hughesyswims)

His colleagues within West Midlands Fire Service have been left shocked and in disbelief at the news and to try to show their respect they decided to stage charity car washes at stations across the region to help boost Iain’s fundraising effort.

He had set himself a target of £21k and within 24 hours of the news of his disappearance it had topped the target and currently stands at more than £50,000.

Car washes were held at Brierley Hill and Tipton fire stations on Saturday (June 24) which collectively raised £3,182 for the fundraising page set up by Iain, who has worked at fire stations across the Black Country.