The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search Tuesday for former WWE star Shad Gaspard, after he was swept out to sea while swimming near Venice Beach, Calif. on Sunday.
The Coast Guard issued a statement on the status of the search at 12:16 p.m. PT on Twitter.
“After 16.5 hours of searching with multiple rescue assets covering 70 square nautical miles and seven search patterns, the Coast Guard has suspended its search efforts for the missing 39-year-old male in the Venice Beach area,” the tweet said.
After 16.5 hours of searching with multiple rescue assets covering 70 square nautical miles and seven search patterns, the Coast Guard has suspended its search efforts for the missing 39 YOM in the Venice Beach area. pic.twitter.com/5brRpOjvF3
— USCG Southern California (@USCGSoCal) May 19, 2020
The beach recently reopened to swimmers and surfers after being closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Gaspard, 39, was swept away Sunday during strong rip currents, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
“Mr. Shad Gaspard was last seen by a Los Angeles County lifeguard on May 17, 2020, around 3:40 p.m. [Sunday], as he swam in the Pacific Ocean approximately 50 yards from Venice Beach,” the LAPD said in a press release on its website. “When last seen by the lifeguard, a wave had crashed over Mr. Shad Gaspard and he was swept out to sea.”
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Lifeguards rescued his 10-year-old son who was with Gaspard at the time. The boy was treated by paramedics, but did not need require hospitalization, CBS Los Angeles reported.
On Tuesday, a message posted on Shad Gaspard’s verified Instagram page thanked first responders for their help.
“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,” the post said. “Shad is a fighter, a warrior and a magical soul. We are hoping and praying for his safe return.”
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 the WWE in 2010, he pursued an acting career and appeared in film Get Hard and the TV movie The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time, and other projects.