News, Culture & Society

US coastguard ‘calls off search’ for ex-WWE star who was pulled out to sea by a riptide

The family of former WWE star Shad Gaspard have tweeted their thanks to people for ‘all the love, support, and concern through this horrible ordeal’ as the coastguard search for the missing father has been downgraded. 

Gaspard disappeared after he and his son were caught in a rip current while swimming at the newly-opened Venice Beach on Sunday afternoon.   

The WWE star reportedly told lifeguards to rescue his 10-year-old son first, who was pulled from the water in good condition and did not require hospitalization. 

Lifeguards were unable to rescue his father, former WWE star Shad Gaspard, 39, who was caught in the riptide and declared missing. 

Two days on from the incident, the US Coast Guard have called off the immediate search for Gaspard, dashing hopes that he may still be found alive, Wrestling News Source reported. 

Former WWE star Shad Gaspard, 39, is missing after being pulled into sea while swimming at California’s Venice Beach Sunday afternoon with his son 

Gaspard's wife posted this missing flyer to his social media accounts and hers asking the public for help in finding her husband

Gaspard’s wife posted this missing flyer to his social media accounts and hers asking the public for help in finding her husband

Shad Gaspard's wife, Siliana Gaspard, was seen leaving Venice Beach being comforted by close friends after a tragic incident Sunday

Shad Gaspard’s wife, Siliana Gaspard, was seen leaving Venice Beach being comforted by close friends after a tragic incident Sunday

Fellow wrestler Kofi Kingston tweeted: ‘@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.’ 

DailyMail.com was there as multiple lifeguards were on the scene on Sunday, along with divers, rescue boats, paramedics on standby, the coast guard flying back and forth and helicopters hovering over the crowded beach for nearly three hours. 

‘I saw the young boy who was inconsolable and his mother who had her arms wrapped around him,’ said one onlooker. ‘The whole thing was just heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking to see this mother and child in complete despair.’

On Monday afternoon Gaspard’s wife Siliana Gaspard was seen on the beach being consoled by close friends as the search continued for her husband.  

The boy's mother Siliana Gaspard remained on the beach Sunday evening and was seen staring out into the ocean while the coast guard conducted a search

The boy’s mother Siliana Gaspard remained on the beach Sunday evening and was seen staring out into the ocean while the coast guard conducted a search

People can be seen consoling one another on the beach as the search for Shad Gaspard continues

People can be seen consoling one another on the beach as the search for Shad Gaspard continues 

Siliana was seen flanked by close friends as they left Venice Beach while divers continue their search for Shad Gaspard

Siliana was seen flanked by close friends as they left Venice Beach while divers continue their search for Shad Gaspard 

A tent has been set up by the Los Angeles County Fire Department in the search for Shad Gaspard

A tent has been set up by the Los Angeles County Fire Department in the search for Shad Gaspard 

Helicopters can still be heard hovering over the beach and many locals are asking the question why the beach wasn't closed off if the rip currents were so strong

Helicopters can still be heard hovering over the beach and many locals are asking the question why the beach wasn’t closed off if the rip currents were so strong 

Gaspard is best known as a member of the wrestling team Cryme Tyme with fellow WWE star JTG

The boy was unharmed and later walked off the beach with an adult friend for about fifteen minutes, while his mother Siliana Gaspard remained on the beach painstakingly staring out into the ocean.

‘We had one of our lifeguards go out to make a double rescue of a father and a son,’ Kenichi Haskett, Los Angeles County Fire Dept Lifeguard Division told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview. 

‘The father unfortunately got pushed down by a wave as they were getting pulled out of the current. The lifeguard rescued and grabbed the boy, the son, and tried to grab the father as well. 

‘He ended up getting pushed down by a wave and we couldn’t find him and we immediately started with our rescue boats, called in additional lifeguards to search that location of his dad.’ 

Gaspard is best known as a member of the wrestling team Cryme Tyme with fellow WWE star JTG. 

Since leaving the wrestling world in 2010, Gaspard pursued an acting career starring in several movies including Think Like A Man Too. 

He married wife Siliana Gaspard in 2009 and they share one son together. 

The mother and a few friends left the beach at about 12:30pm. The rescue station was also shut down at the same time.

Prior to leaving, Siliana was seen sitting on the beach with some friends and possible family members who were consoling her and rubbing her back. 

Their son had left about 30 minutes prior with an adult and another young boy. Officials wouldn’t confirm whether or not the body had been found. 

Helicopters can still be heard hovering over the beach and many locals are asking the question why the beach wasn’t closed off if the rip currents were so strong.

‘There were unusually strong rip currents the day before this happened. Two girls were pulled out because of the riptide. I am not sure why swimmers weren’t warned,’ Daisy Godfrey tells DailyMail.com. ‘Lifeguards were there immediately but the helicopter took almost an hour to get there.’ ‘If you feel a strong pull, that’s the time to get out of the water. But many swimmers may not think anything of the pull, especially if they don’t go to the beach a lot.’ 

Gaspard was swimming with his 10-year-old son when he was pulled out  to sea. His son was rescued and unharmed

Gaspard was swimming with his 10-year-old son when he was pulled out  to sea. His son was rescued and unharmed

'We had one of our lifeguards go out to make a double rescue of a father and a son,' Kenichi Haskett, Los Angeles County Fire Dept Lifeguard Division told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview

‘We had one of our lifeguards go out to make a double rescue of a father and a son,’ Kenichi Haskett, Los Angeles County Fire Dept Lifeguard Division told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview

'The father unfortunately got pushed down by a wave as they were getting pulled out of the current. The lifeguard rescued and grabbed the boy, the son, and tried to grab the father as well'

‘The father unfortunately got pushed down by a wave as they were getting pulled out of the current. The lifeguard rescued and grabbed the boy, the son, and tried to grab the father as well’

Multiple lifeguards were on the scene, along with divers, rescue boats, and paramedics on standby

Multiple lifeguards were on the scene, along with divers, rescue boats, and paramedics on standby

Haskett encourages people to swim in front of an open lifeguard tower and to always check in with the lifeguard about the swimming conditions

Haskett encourages people to swim in front of an open lifeguard tower and to always check in with the lifeguard about the swimming conditions

One local resident said she was brought to tears just the other day when her daughters were in harm's way while swimming at the same beach

One local resident said she was brought to tears just the other day when her daughters were in harm’s way while swimming at the same beach

Gaspard married wife Siliana Gaspard in 2009 and they share one son together. Gaspard had launched an acting career since leaving the wrestling world in 2010

Gaspard married wife Siliana Gaspard in 2009 and they share one son together. Gaspard had launched an acting career since leaving the wrestling world in 2010

Haskett encourages people to swim in front of an open lifeguard tower and to always check in with the lifeguard about the swimming conditions.

‘Stay knee deep, you don’t need to out and get pounded by the shore. Know your abilities and stay within your abilities,’ Haskett advises.

Local resident Lisa Thompson said she was brought to tears just the other day when her daughters were in harm’s way while swimming at the same beach. 

‘Yesterday my two girls got pulled in by lifeguards. It was upsetting, I was crying. My daughters didn’t even know realize they were getting pulled out.’

‘I have been doing this for 33 years, and this is only the second time this has ever happened,’ a Venice Beach lifeguard told DailyMail.com. 

The mother and son were seen sitting under the tent as the rescue mission continues in raining weather and choppy waters Monday morning

The mother and son were seen sitting under the tent as the rescue mission continues in raining weather and choppy waters Monday morning 

As of 7am, the search for the missing dad continued with his wife and young son on site

 As of 7am, the search for the missing dad continued with his wife and young son on site

The search was suspended Sunday evening and picked up again Monday morning

The search was suspended Sunday evening and picked up again Monday morning 

To make the search more challenging, it has been raining since early Monday morning

To make the search more challenging, it has been raining since early Monday morning

As of 7am, the search for the missing dad continued with his wife and young son on site.

‘The mother and son have remained on the beach at the same location since yesterday. Neighbors have provided them with water and blankets and chairs.

‘And one neighbor who lives right on the beach just steps away from the incident has opened his doors for them in case they need a bathroom or a place to rest,’ Venice local Patricia Powell tells DailyMail.com. 

To make matters more challenging, it has been raining since early morning. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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