Barack Obama, a former US president, lost his personal chef in a horrific accident that happened outside of his Martha’s Vineyard house.
Tafari Campbell, the chef, was claimed to have drowned while paddleboarding on a pond. He was 45 years old.
Authorities have confirmed that the body was discovered in 8 feet of water roughly 100 feet from the Obamas’ house on Edgartown Great Pond. This information was made public on Monday afternoon.
When Barack Obama’s stint in office came to an end, Campbell was retained as his personal staff. Prior to that, he worked as the White House’s sous chef.
Emergency personnel were sent to the 30-acre estate at 79 Turkeyland Cove Road on Sunday night following reports of a “possible drowning” in the area’s water.
Rescue efforts involving divers, Coast Guard helicopters, and multiple agencies’ resources were launched from the property overnight.
Campbell’s body was finally discovered around 10 a.m. Monday using sonar scanners deployed from a boat.
The Obamas were not home at the time of the incident, police confirmed.
“Tafari was a beloved part of our family,” the Obamas said in a statement Monday.
“When we first met him, he was a talented sous chef at the White House — creative and passionate about food, and its ability to bring people together. In the years that followed, we got to know him as a warm, fun, extraordinarily kind person who made all of our lives a little brighter.
“That’s why, when we were getting ready to leave the White House, we asked Tafari to stay with us, and he generously agreed. He’s been part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken that he’s gone.”
“Today we join everyone who knew and loved Tafari — especially his wife Sherise and their twin boys, Xavier and Savin — in grieving the loss of a truly wonderful man.”
Another person who had been paddleboarding on the pond when Campbell drowned said they saw him struggling in the water, then submerging without resurfacing.
He wore all black then, and did not have a lifejacket on.
His board and hat were discovered shortly after search crews arrived.
During his time in the White House, Campbell was known for brewing a beer using honey from bees Michelle Obama tended on the South Lawn, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.