Former White House sous chef Tafari Campbell, who worked for President Barack and Michelle Obama, drowned while visiting the former president’s home in Martha’s Vineyard, Maryland, officials said. he was 45 years old.
The incident occurred around 7:46 pm on Sunday, when someone called 911 from President Obama’s vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard, saying the paddleboarder had failed to surface after entering Edgartown’s Great Pond.
“[He] “It appears to have struggled briefly to stay above water, but then submerged and did not resurface,” Massachusetts State Police said in a statement. “At the time, another paddleboarder was in the pond with him watching him sink into the water.”
Dozens of ambulance crews were dispatched to the scene, searching the pond for hours to no avail. Just before 10 a.m. Monday morning, Campbell’s body was discovered by sidescan sonar from the boat and recovered by divers.
“The recovery took place about 100 feet from shore and about 8 feet deep,” police said. The victim was later identified as Tafari Campbell of Dumfries, Virginia.
“Mr. Campbell was employed by former President Obama and was visiting Martha’s Vineyard when he died,” police said in a statement. “President and Mrs. Obama were not at the official residence at the time of the accident.”
In a written statement, the Obamas said Campbell was “a beloved part of our family.”
“When we first met him, he was a talented sous chef at the White House,” the Obamas said. “In the years since, we’ve come to know him as a warm, fun and very kind person who has made our lives a little brighter.”
The couple added, “That’s why when we were preparing to leave the White House, we asked Mr. Tafari to stay with us, and he generously agreed. He’s been a part of our lives ever since, and we’re heartbroken without him.”
Campbell was married to his wife, Sherries, and had two twin boys, Xavier and Savin.
https://bnonews.com/index.php/2023/07/obamas-personal-chef-tafari-campbell-drowns-at-former-presidents-home/ Obama’s personal chef Tafari Campbell drowns at ex-president’s home