The newly reopened Venice Beach has faced tragedy as former WWE superstar Shad Gaspard, who was part of fan-favourite tag team Cryme Tyme, was swimming with his 10-year-old son when they were both pulled out with the rip current.
Fortunately, the 10-year-old was rescued, however, his 39-year-old father is still missing after being pushed down by a wave as they were getting pulled out of the current.
According to numerous reports, Shad instructed the lifeguards to save his son first, which ultimately left him struggling in the water.
Witnesses have expressed that there were multiple lifeguards, divers, paramedics and rescue boats at the scene, and the coast guard was searching high and low, with helicopters patrolling the busy beach for around three hours.
One said: "I saw the young boy who was inconsolable and his mother who had her arms wrapped around him. The whole thing was just heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking to see this mother and child in complete despair."
Shad’s son is said to be unharmed and was seen later walking off of the beach with one of his parents’ friends, as his mother Siliana Gaspard remained on the beach, staring out into the sea in distress.
Whilst speaking to the Daily Mail, Kenichi Haskett of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division said: “We had one of our lifeguards go out to make a double rescue of a father and a son, 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."
The search continued in the early hours of this morning, with both the mother and son remaining on site, with locals that live near to the beach offering them support.
Searchers have faced challenges this morning also, with the weather taking a turn for the worst, raining since early morning, meaning the search faces challenges through choppy waters and the rain itself.
We at GiveMeSport, like you at home, have our fingers crossed and are keeping our hopes that Shad will be found in a healthy state quickly so he can return to his family.
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