The U.S. Coast Guard has called off the search for former WWE wrestling star Shad Gaspard who apparently drowned when a riptide pulled him under while swimming with his 10-year-old son off the coast of Venice Beach.
Gaspard, 39, was swimming with his son when a strong current pulled them both under water. His son was rescued by a lifeguard, but the 6-foot-7 in. wrestling star was swept under by a riptide and never seen again.
Gaspard's distraught wife, Siliana Gaspard, watched the rescue effort from the shore. Mother and son remained on the beach for hours afterwards, refusing to leave as the search continued.
"We had one of our lifeguards go out to make a double rescue of a father and a son," Kenichi Haskett, of Los Angeles County Fire Dept Lifeguard Division, told DailyMail.com exclusively.
"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."
Haskett advised people to swim in knee-deep water in front of the open lifeguard tower so they can be seen if they are in distress.
"The mother and son have remained on the beach at the same location since yesterday," a local told DailyMail.com. "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 told the Mail.
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