A Secret Service agent, in a state of high agitation, reached out to an emergency dispatcher with news that the personal chef of the Obama family was in danger of drowning.
This alarming incident transpired when Tafari Campbell, age 45, met with an unfortunate accident off his paddleboard near the Obama’s residential property located in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
The 911 call transcripts revealed the agent conveying the crisis. ‘We’ve got a man at the risk of drowning behind the property,’ the agent, identified as Dave, alerted the dispatcher in the initial 911 call, after Campbell had lost his balance off his board and disappeared beneath the surface of the Edgartown Great Pond.
The emergency call was made around 7:46 p.m., with Dave stating that at least one swimmer along with an additional Secret Service agent had embarked on a daring rescue mission. This brave attempt was launched with the intent to reach Campbell amid the waters as quickly as possible.
??BREAKING NEWS: the Dramatic audio reveals Secret Service agent's 911 call for help after Barack Obama's personal chef Tafari Campbell fell off paddle board and drowned on Martha's Vineyard just got released.
Audio from two initial calls, shared today by the Dukes County… pic.twitter.com/PIt2iz1LFv
— Dom Lucre | Breaker of Narratives (@dom_lucre) October 24, 2023
It is also important to note that Campbell’s predicament was brought to their notice not by the duo who were absent when the accident happened, but by an unidentified individual.
‘An individual ran up towards our back post, alerting us of the incident. A man, who is a guest of the residents, is currently drowning,’ was what Dave related to the dispatcher.
Furthermore, the urgency in the situation escalated as it was reported that the rescue personnel were unable to pinpoint the exact location of Campbell, the person reported as drowning.
‘Our rescue swimmers are currently out there in the water, but they have been unable to find the man whose drowning was reported,’ said Dave in an apparent state of increased panic. Following this, a separate male dispatcher chimed in on the line with Dave, asking for more information about Campbell’s appearance when he took the unfortunate plunge.
The communication was being relayed from the Secret Service’s primary location. The audio played pointed towards the agent collaboratively arriving at the description with other members of the team over a radio frequency. He provided a brief description of the individual as all of this unfolded.
‘He’s clad in black, standing on a paddle board, in his forties, a black individual of average stature,’ confirmed the agent. He reassured the dispatcher, ‘We have our divers on a boat in the vicinity of the area.’,
‘The paddle board, he was on, has been located; however, he did not have a life jacket on before he fell into the water.’ Dave communicated this crucial piece of information to the team several times after reassuring the dispatcher.
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts, Campbell’s body was retrieved only the following day. It was found submerged roughly eight feet under the water, positioned about 100 feet from the shoreline abutting the Obama family’s property.
Expressing their grief in a poignant note, the Obamas said, ‘Tafari was a cherished part of our family.’ They fondly remembered the time when they had first met him as an immensely talented sous chef at the White House.
His passion for food and its power to bring people together had impressed them then. Over the years, his warm, light-hearted, and excessively generous nature deeply impacted them. ‘In the years during and beyond our friendship, we knew him as an individual who brought joy to our lives,’ they added.
Originating from Dumfries, Virginia, Campbell had started his journey in the culinary world as a sous chef at the White House during President George W. Bush’s administration.
His culinary prowess and affable personality earned him his place in the White House, which he served graciously for Barack Obama’s two terms. Upon their departure from the office, the Obamas extended an invitation to him to continue his role as their private chef.