The body of 39-year-old former pro wrestler Shad Gaspard washed ashore early Wednesday morning on Los Angeles beach two days after he went missing. Gaspard went swimming with his 10-year-old son Aryeh and went missing after being caught in a rip current on Sunday.
The duo was swimming on waist-deep water before conditions changed dramatically. A lifeguard spotted them struggling and set out to save them.
Aryeh was closer to the shore and Gaspard, on spotting the lifeguard, asked him to save his son first.
However, before he could be rescued, Gaspard was pushed under by a wave and didn’t reappear.
A search operation was launched without success before a police officer was informed of a body has washed ashore on Venice beach.
“His last few words were ‘just secure my son, rescue my son,” Kenichi Haskett, the section chief of the lifeguard division, told the New York Times.
Gaspard was part of the WWE tag team Cryme Tyme which later partnered with John Cena against JBL.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the first responders who rescued Aryeh and to the lifeguards, coast guard, divers, fire and police departments for their continued efforts to help find our beloved Shad,” Gaspard’s wife Siliana had said in a statement on Tuesday.
WWE condoled the death of their former star. “WWE is saddened to learn that former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard has passed away at the age of 39. Admired by friends and colleagues for his warmth and humour, Gaspard was no stranger to heroic deeds,” WWE said in a statement.