WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard’s final act saving son before drowning in rip tide

WWE star Shad Gaspard's heroic final moments saving his son before drowning have been shared by the lifeguard on duty.

The 6ft 7ins wrestler died aged 39 nearly two years ago in a horror swimming incident at Venice Beach in California, US on May 17 2020.

Lifeguard Thomas Swift who was on duty at the time of the tragedy has detailed his version of events following a wrongful death law suit filed by Gaspard's wife Siliana.

In newly-filed court documents obtained by DailyMail.com, Swift says that as the wrestler battled in 8ft waves, he yelled "Save my son, Save my son" and threw 10-year-old Aryeh towards him.

Siliana has since accused the City and County of Los Angeles and the state of California of negligence and dangerous conditions at Venice Beach.

She claimed that more signs should have been in place to effectively warn beachgoers of the 'danger or risk' of swimming there and claims the lifeguards were slow to react, poorly trained, understaffed and lacked proper equipment.

LA County – which is responsible for public safety at Venice Beach responded by denying Siliana's allegations and insisted that there are plenty of signs warning of rip currents and other risks.

In a motion asking for LA County to be cleared of any blame in Gaspard's death, the authority added that lifeguards are properly trained and equipped.

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Part of the request for exoneration includes Swift's witness statement.

The 30-year life-saving veteran who was once a member of the U.S. National Lifesaving Team, said conditions were so rough on the day that he and another lifeguard had already rescued six other swimmers.

In his four-page declaration, Swift said: "When I was approximately 20 feet from Gaspard and A.G., a large wave approximately 6-8ft high with lots of water volume was approaching.

"Just as the wave was about to come down, I observed Gaspard push A.G. by his shoulders approximately five feet in my direction. As soon as Gaspard pushed A.G., the wave crashed directly on Gaspard while the white water from the wave pulled both me and A.G. under….and held everyone under the water for several seconds.

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"When I surfaced, A.G. was approximately five feet to my right and Gaspard was approximately 20 feet to my left…..I swam to A.G, gave him my rescue can, and told him to hold on to it in an effort to stabilize A.G. so that I could assist Gaspard."

He added: "When the next wave hit, A.G. let go of the rescue can. I retrieved the rescue can and gave it back to A.G. After this second wave hit, I lost sight of Gaspard.

"It was clear to me that A.G. was disoriented and he would not be able to hold on to the rescue can in the rough ocean conditions……. I determined I would not be able to swim out to Gaspard's location and keep A.G. safe at the same time."

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"Based on these conditions, it was my assessment that if I did not get A.G. back to the shore, he would have died."

Swift explained that he and another lifeguard dived several times to try to find Gaspard but neither they or colleagues onboard a rescue boat could locate him.

The father had been swept out to sea and his lifeless body was later found close to the shoreline.

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