A Reddit user who was at the beach on Sunday when several swimmers – including Shad Gaspard – got caught by a rip current, recounted his harrowing experience on the r/LosAngeles forum.
The individual – who has the Reddit username “marsrot” – said that he was body surfing and was coming back in when he noticed a large lifeguard presence on the shore.
“As I came in, which took forever as the tides were incredibly strong, I noticed the kid fighting against the waves and the lifeguard headed towards him,” he wrote.
Upon arriving safely at the shore, the Reddit user heard two surfers screaming – a scream he said he’ll never forget – and pointing at another person drowning.
The lifeguards went into action again as the surfers continued to wave to draw their attention. “Once I saw people in snorkels, which was probably about 10 minutes in, it was obvious he wasn’t probably going to turn up alive,” the user wrote.
“Cops showed up, eventually helicopters. I talked with the surfers and they said an adult went under,” he added. That adult was former WWE Superstar Shad Gaspard.
Seeing something like this in real life is certainly traumatic and “marsdot” wrote that he felt awful because he wondered if he should have helped the kid so the lifeguard could have focused on saving the father. “I’m gonna let it rest at I was powerless and I didn’t want to add to the mess. The waves were really nasty, I’ve body surfed my whole life in San Diego and today I was being cautious, I was worried when I saw whole families out,” he wrote.
“I saw the mom hear her husband not turn up and saw her run down the beach looking for him, and I saw a kid sitting on a shoreline with a look he knew that they were past the point of finding his friend’s dad alive. It was harrowing to see the reality unfold in a family a loved one didn’t return from the ocean,” he continued.
“Marsdot” said he left after 40 minutes of helicopters flying low over the water assisting the search. “I needed to see this posting because I’ve felt weird all night and bad because I technically could have turned around, swam past the breaks and maybe saved a life, or drowned myself. I dunno, it’s sad,” he concluded.