WWE star Shad Gaspard missing off coast of Los Angeles after swimming amid rip tides Sunday
Professional wrestler/actor Shad Gaspard attends the 11th annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards at Palms Casino Resort on July 3, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Former WWE star Shad Gaspard is missing off the coast of Los Angeles after going for a swim with his son amid powerful riptide currents Sunday afternoon.
Lifeguards responded for an ocean rescue at Venice Beach around 3:40 p.m. Sunday and made contact with two victims before one “did submerge,” a source with the Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division told the Daily News Monday morning.
The younger victim, identified as a 10-year-old boy, was rescued, but the older male disappeared in the “hazardous surf” after he waved lifeguards to attend to the boy first, the source said.
“The primary factor yesterday was the hazardous surf, with waves at four to six feet,” the source told The News. “We had strong lateral and strong rip currents through the entire Venice area. Our lifeguards were making hundreds of rescues,” the source said.
Gaspard’s wife Siliana Gaspard publicly identified the 39-year-old professional wrestler as the missing swimmer in a series of Instagram posts.
“Last seen wearing swim shorts,” she wrote on one post. “If you have seen Shad, please message me.”
She posted another photo with the title “Missing!!” and said Gaspard was “last seen at Marina Del Rey Beach.”
The Los Angeles County Fire source said the desperate search lasted until 7:30 p.m. Sunday with divers and rescue boats returning to the area Monday morning.
“It’s a really heartbreaking incident,” another fire department source told The News.
#VeniceIC *Update* as of 7:30PM subsurface searches have been suspended for the evening. @LACoLifeguards will continue periodic land based patrols throughout the area. Dive and Sonar search operations will resume at 0700 tomorrow.
Concerned friends and loved ones posted heartfelt messages on social media.
“I'm speechless. I've been crying since I saw this. Shad is one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of being friends with in the wrestling business and I'm praying he's found,” sports editor Ryan Satin tweeted.