WWE great Shad Gaspard gave his own life to save his 10-year-old son in a swimming accident on Venice Beach, Californiaa lifeguard has revealed in a harrowing and heartbreaking first-time account of the tragedy.
Rescue ‘Save my son, rescue my son’, the 6ft 7in wrestler – wrestling in waves up to 8 feet high – throws the boy to rescuers before he was submerged by a deadly rip and drowned, said lifeguard Thomas Swift, in new – submission court documents obtained by DailyMail.com
Swift was able to rescue Gaspard’s son Aryeh, who is going through AG
But Gaspard’s wife, Siliana, filed a false death charge against the City and County of Los Angeles and the state of California alleges ‘dangerous conditions’ at Venice Beach and ‘negligence’.
She claimed there were not enough signs to warn 39-year-old Gaspard and AG of the ‘danger or risk’ of swimming there. She also accuses lifeguards of being unresponsive, poorly trained, understaffed and lacking in good equipment.
LA County – which is responsible for public safety at Venice Beach – denied its claims, saying there are many signs that warn of rip-offs and other risks and insist lifeguards are well-trained and equipped. LA officials have filed a motion asking LA Superior Court for a “summary judgment” to acquit them of any guilt in Gaspard’s death.
And now, in support of that motion, lifeguard Swift – once a member of the US National Lifesaving Team – has given his disturbing version of what happened that fateful day, May 17, 2020, in a statement to the court.
Former WWE wrestler drowned on May 17, 2020 while swimming with his 10-year-old son on Venice Beach. A lifeguard revealed that Gaspard shouted “Save my son, save my son!” and throws the boy to rescuers before he is subdued by a deadly rapture
Gaspard’s wife, Siliana, filed an unjustified death charge against the City and County of Los Angeles, alleging “dangerous conditions” on Venice Beach and “negligence”. She has been seen leaving the beach after the tragic incident
A 30-year-old life-saving veteran, Swift said the conditions were so harsh that he and another lifeguard had to rescue six other swimmers not long before he saw Gaspard and his son AG in the water.
On that fateful day, waves were up to eight feet with four to six feet of surf and strong rip currents.
Gaspard is best known as a member of the wrestling team Cryme Tyme with fellow WWE star JTG
“I saw two people about 200 yards south of my location after the surf and observed a set of about 4-8 ft waves coming in,” he said in his four-page statement.
‘After the third wave in the set, I observed that these two persons (whom he later found to be Gaspard and AG) were lifted from their feet and they began to drift in a northerly direction in a lateral stream moving at a speed of approximately 5-10 knots.
‘I immediately called Santa Monica Headquarters that I’m going out to help these two people. I took my rescue can and, based on my training and experience, I ran diagonally fourth in the direction in which the ripstream decedent would take (Gaspard) and AG to try to cut them off. I got into the water with at least one swim fin and started dolphin diving and swimming to Gaspard and AG
‘When I was about 20 feet from Gaspard and AG, a large wave came about 6-8ft high with a lot of water volume.
‘Just as the wave was coming down, I observed Gaspard AG at his shoulders about five feet in my direction. As soon as Gaspard AG pushed, the wave crashed directly on Gaspard, while the white water of the wave pulled me and AG under … and kept everyone under the water for several seconds.
‘When I got to the top, AG was about five feet to my right and Gaspard was about 20 feet to my left ….. I swam to AG, gave him my lifeline, and told him to hold on to it in a attempt to stabilize AG so that I could assist Gaspard.
‘When the next wave hit, AG released the rescue squad. I grabbed the lifebuoy and handed it back to AG. After this second wave, I hit Gaspard out of sight.
‘It was clear to me that AG was disoriented and he would not be able to hold the rescue can in the rough ocean conditions … I decided I would not be able to swim out to the location of Gaspard and AG to keep safe at the same time. ‘
Lifeguard Thomas Swift described Gaspard’s latest moments in newly submitted legal documents obtained by DailyMail.com
Swift added, ‘Due to the rough ocean conditions and the white water pushing us into the shower, the distance between the two victims and AG’s inability to hold the lifeline, I made the decision to bring AG to shore. and then come back to help Gaspard.
‘Based on these conditions, it was my assessment that if I did not get AG back on shore, he would have died.’
After handing AG over to two rescue volunteers as they reached the shore, Swift – a certified emergency medical technician and an American Red Cross lifeguard instructor – plunged back into the ocean to try to rescue Gaspard.
“I swam out to sea where I thought Gaspard would be,” he continued. ‘As I swam, I could see two surfers in front of me and about 20 yards to my left, paddling to Gaspard in an attempt to help.
‘The surfers reached Gaspard first, waved at me and said that Gaspard was sitting right under them … … The two surfers told me that they were with Gaspard for about 10-15 seconds before he sank.
‘They reported pushing their boards to Gaspard, but he seemed disoriented, did not want to grab onto their boards and simply said,’ Save my son, save my son. ‘
Swift said he and another lifeguard who came on the scene dived several times to try to find Gaspard. A lifeboat and other lifeboats join the search, but they could not find Gaspard. He was trapped in the sea and his lifeless body was later found close to the shoreline.
In her original court documents, Siliana Gaspard told a different story, claiming that when lifeguards ‘saw Shad and AG wrestling in the water, they did nothing for an unwise and sloppy time.’
The oncoming rescuers’ eventually went into the water, but without the proper equipment for their tasks to help people in the water like Shad Gaspard and AG ‘she said, adding that the lifeguards’ chose to help only AG and Shad Gaspard in ‘the water to die.’
Siliana also claimed that lifeguard stations at Venice Beach were ‘illegally understaffed’ and that LA County officials were negligent in the lack of proper training and supervision and negligent in hiring, maintaining, training and supervising lifeguards.
‘The activities of the suspects, or their absence, increased the degree of danger of the state of the scene, causing the death of Shad Gaspard’
Gaspard married Mrs. Siliana Gaspard in 2009 and they share one son together. Gaspard had launched an acting career since leaving the wrestling world in 2010
In her lawsuit, Siliana claimed that when lifeguards ‘saw Shad and AG wrestling in the water, they did nothing for an unwise and sloppy time’.
Siliana Gaspard remained on the beach the day Gaspard went missing and was seen dying in the ocean while the Coast Guard conducted a search.
Swift boss Daniel Murphy, section chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Lifeguard Services Division, served Liliana’s claims in a statement to the court.
He claimed in the newly filed legal document that a diving team, multiple lifeguard units, lifeboats, a helicopter, a personal jet ski, Baywatch Del Rey and Baywatch Malibu were deployed to search for Mr Gaspard after his immersion, but they could not to locate him. ‘
Murphy also included a chapter in the Ocean Academy Manual describing the ‘critical life-saving procedures, equipment, and techniques required of Ocean Lifeguards’.
And he mentioned signs like ‘CAUTION – WARE OF RIP CURRENTS’ and ‘BE MINDFUL OF THE OPEN OCEAN AND SWIM / SURF ARE YOUR FREE’, which can be seen on Venice Beach.
Gaspard – who was originally known in the WWF as Da Beast in the tag team Cryme Time with partner JTG – stopped pro-wrestling in 2011 to start an acting career in TV and movies. He was in 2015’s Get Hard with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart.
In a tribute to Gaspard, former wrestler turned film star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson said: ‘Shad drowned in the ocean, but not before instructing lifeguards to rescue his son first. That’s the love of a father. ‘
The next trial in Siliana’s court is scheduled for May 17 – just two years after Gaspard’s death.
Shad Gaspard’s final moments before saving his son and drowning Source link Shad Gaspard’s final moments before saving his son and drowning