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Search called off for missing Swiss swimmer

Staub is believed to have drowned

(Keystone Archive)

Rescue teams in France have called off their search for the missing Swiss swimmer, Ulrich Staub, who disappeared on Saturday during an attempt to swim the English Channel.

The 37-year-old athlete, who was Liechtenstein's national triathlon coach, was only 1.5 kilometres short of the French coast when his escort boat, whose crew included his father, lost sight of him in three-metre high waves.

The French authorities immediately launched a search and rescue operation, but this was called off on Monday morning after finding no trace of Staub. According to them, the Swiss "had probably drowned".

Staub, who came from Arnegg near St Gallen, had set off from Dover on Saturday at 5am Swiss time in his bid to swim across 35 kilometres of the English Channel. He had been swimming for around 16 hours when he disappeared.

According to the British-based Channel Swimmers Association, around 60 to 70 people try to swim across the English Channel every year, mainly between July and September when the water is at its least cold.

swissinfo with agencies

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