TMZ announced former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard went missing during a swim at Venice Beach in California on Sunday while out with his 10-year-old son. Gaspard and his son were among a group of swimmers caught in a strong rip current at around 4 pm PST. Lifeguards raced into the water to pull everyone out and while Shad’s son was rescued, he has not been located.

TMZ noted that officials are desperately searching for the 39-year-old Gaspard. The LA Fire Department believed Gaspard “did submerge” in the water. Divers were sent to scour the area and helicopters were searching from above. One witness at the scene told TMZ that Gaspard directed rescuers to help his son first when lifeguards raced into the ocean, which they did. During the rescue, another large wave reportedly crashed down on Gaspard and that was the last time he was seen.

Los Angeles Fire Department lifeguard specialist Pono Barnes told local ABC station that Gaspard was the only person to submerge. “That group was stuck in one of the rip currents and were swimming just north of the lifeguard tower,” said Barnes. “That’s why lifeguards were able to get there so soon, but unfortunately, one did, however, submerge.” Helicopters, divers and boats spent hours searching for him until “subsurface searches” were suspended by lifeguards just before sundown. The search continued this Monday morning at around 7 AM PST (3 PM BST).

The incident happened on a day when the surf and the weather created challenging conditions. “That surf that we have paired with a little bit of wind and good tidal swing today made rip currents a little bit more prevalent and a little bit stronger,” Barnes said. Gaspard’s son was unharmed and later walked off the beach with an adult friend of the family for around 15 minutes, while his wife remained on the beach during the first part of the search. The Daily Mail says that Shad’s wife, Siliana Gaspard, later left the beach with close friends.

Officials in the water were battling the rain as they resumed the rescue attempt. In addition to the boats, divers and helicopters, the LA County Lifeguards division noted on Twitter that their Marine Technical Search Team was working with Baywatch Del Rey to conduct side-scanning sonar of the area today. “Every effort will be made to locate this gentleman, he is somebody’s family member, and we all have family, so we will not rest until we feel that every effort has been made to locate him,” LASD Deputy Trina Schrader told reporters Monday.

Gaspard worked for WWE from 2002 to 2010. He trained in OVW, WWE’s developmental promotion at that time. With JTG, they formed the tag team Cryme Tyme. He has since worked for indie promotions in the USA, with JTG. Many wrestlers made comments on social media on Gaspard situation. Through MVP and Lance Archer Twitter accounts, the family issued the following statement. As of this writing, he has not been found yet.

Courtesy of Wrestling Inc – Pic courtesy of WWE

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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