Tragic death confirmed of firefighter who went missing during cross-Channel swim

West Midlands Fire Service have confirmed that the body of a swimmer found in waters off Belgium is that of Iain Hughes, their missing crew manager.

Belgian authorities informed their UK counterparts of the discovery. The body has now been returned to the UK and formally identified to be that of Iain.

Iain's family have been informed. We hold them in our thoughts and prayers, and are continuing to give them all possible support. They have issued the following statement:

“Our lives were shattered when Iain went missing. He was our world. The news that his body had been found was unbearable. It still is. We miss him more than words can ever say.

“We are proud of Iain for so many reasons. He put his heart and soul into training for the swim, but that was Iain - determined to help and support others.

“It is lovely to see how much money has been raised for his three charities, but also heart-breaking that he will never know the total. Thank you to everyone who has donated and who are still raising money.

“We also want to send our thanks and love to everyone who has been there for us these past few weeks. The photo we are releasing sums up the Iain we loved."    

Chief Fire Officer, Wayne Brown said: “This is devastating news. Iain’s family are foremost in our thoughts at this distressing time, and we are giving them all possible support.

“I know that many people have been affected by Iain’s disappearance. We, in turn, have been touched by the hundreds of kind messages we have received, and the overwhelming response to Iain’s fundraising page. Thank you.”

As a mark of respect to Iain, flags at West Midlands Fire Service sites will fly at half-mast until sunset today.

WMFS have opened a Book of Condolence on their website.


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