The Coast Guard has suspended its search for former WWE star Shad Gaspard, who went missing after he was swept out to sea while swimming in Marina del Rey over the weekend.
Gaspard, 39, was at the newly reopened beach near Venice on Sunday.
He was swimming about 50 yards from shore, Los Angeles police said.
“When last seen by the lifeguard, a wave had crashed over Mr. Shad Gaspard and he was swept out to sea,” the department said.
Pono Barnes, ocean lifeguard specialist with the L.A. County Fire Department, told CNN two swimmers were caught in a rip current, and one, a young boy, was rescued.
“If you’ve seen him please call 911 or Dm family,” his wife, Siliana Gaspard, said on her Instagram account. The same message appeared on the wrestler’s Instagram. One of the photos showed Gaspard in a swimsuit standing on a beach.
The U.S. Coast Guard, L.A. County lifeguards and sheriff’s officials were all involved in the search, said Trina Schrader, a sheriff’s spokesperson.
“Weather permitting we’ll look for him in the air,” Schrader said. “We’re using all resources to try to recover him as soon as possible.”
But around noon Tuesday, the Coast Guard said it suspended its search after canvassing 70 square nautical miles using seven search patterns.
WWE star Kofi Kingston, Montel Vontavious Porter and Gregory Shane Helms were among the wrestlers that tweeted a statement on behalf of Gaspard’s family: “@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.”
Los Angeles County reopened its beaches last Wednesday for physical activities, which includes walking, running and swimming. The beach had been closed to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
A Twitter account for the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Division said they performed 452 ocean rescues between Friday, May 15 and Sunday, May 17 — marking “a busy weekend at the beach.”
Gaspard is best known for being a member of the wrestling team Cryme Tyme with fellow WWE star JTG, which debuted in 2006. After leaving WWE in 2010, he pursued an acting career and has appeared in films “Think Like a Man Too” and “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time,” according to imdb.
He is married and has a young son, aged 10.