Rescuers are searching for former WWE star Shad Gaspard after he was swept out to sea while swimming in the ocean with a young boy believed to be his son.
Gaspard and the boy had been in the water off the coast of Venice Beach when they got caught in a strong rip tide, local station KABC reports.
Los Angeles County lifeguards dove into the waters to assist the swimmers and were able to rescue the 10-year-old boy; however, Gaspard was swept away.
“When last seen by the lifeguard, a wave had crashed over Mr. Shad Gaspard and he was swept out to sea,” the Los Angeles police said, according to CNN.
Police said he had been swimming about 50 yards from the shore.
In an since-deleted Instagram post, Gaspard’s wife Siliana Gaspard said the former WWE star had gone missing at a Marina del Rey beach, in an unincorporated area near Venice Beach, on Sunday and asked for anyone who had seen her missing husband to contact authorities, local station KCAL reports.
The U.S. Coast Guard, Los Angeles County lifeguards and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have all joined the search effort to find Gaspard.
“Weather permitting we’ll look for him in the air,” Trina Schrader, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department told CNN. “We’re using all resources to try to recover him as soon as possible.”
Monday’s search also included the use of sonar equipment as they battled rough conditions to try to find the missing swimmer, KCAL reports.
In a post on Twitter, the Los Angeles County lifeguards said their first full weekend open since the coronavirus pandemic had been a “busy weekend.” Lifeguards performed 452 ocean rescues and had 193 medical aids.
The missing 39-year-old was once part of the famous WWE tag team known as “Cryme Tyme” along with wrestling partner JTG. The duo debuted in 2006.
On Monday, JTG took to Twitter to share a previous conversation seemingly between Gaspard and himself.
It appears that Gaspard sent JTG a message in January saying “If ever I die tomorrow just know I love you as a brother and friend for ever, even past this life.”
Wrestler Montel Vontavious Porter also shared a message on Twitter on behalf of Gaspard’s family.
“Tweeted at the request of Shad’s family. @Shadbeast’s family appreciates all the love, support and concern through this horrible ordeal. At this time they are not ready to make any public or official statements to any media outlet And ask all to respect their wishes,” he wrote.
Gaspard left the WWE in 2010 to pursue an acting career. His credits include the 2018 film “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time,” and the television series “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series,” according to IMDb.
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