New 911 call audio released by officials in Massachusetts reveals a frantic search to rescue Barack Obama’s personal chef who fell off a paddleboard near the former president’s estate on Martha’s Vineyard.
Tafari Campbell, 45, went missing while paddleboarding in the Edgartown Great Pond on Martha’s Vineyard on July 23. His body was recovered the following morning after an extensive search.
His cause of death was determined to be an accidental drowning, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security previously told Fox News.
Months later, the Dukes County Sheriff’s Office released heavily redacted audio recordings of the 911 call obtained by Fox News Digital, which was placed by a Secret Service agent.
“We have a male drowning in the back of the property. Right now. We have our rescue swimmers, they’re attempting to go out there right now,” the Secret Service agent, named Dave, told the 911 operator.
“Someone came running up to our back post saying that a gentleman, it’s just the guest of the house is out there drowning. So right now, rescue swimmers going out there,” the Secret Service agent said.
When asked by the 911 operator, the Secret Service agent said he’d need “at least” an ambulance.
“We have our rescue swimmer who’s getting the boat right now,” added the Secret Service agent.
In a follow-up call to the Dukes County Sheriff’s Office, the agent said “our rescue swimmers aren’t able to locate the gentleman that was reported drowning.”
“They’re out in the water right now. But as of now, they don’t know where he is,” the agent said.
When the sheriff’s office employee asked if the individual was wearing a life vest, the agent said he wasn’t.
A Secret Service spokesperson declined to comment on the 911 recordings, but said, “This was an incredibly tragic day for everyone and our thoughts are with the Campbell and Obama families and the former President’s staff.”
Campbell was employed by Obama at the time of his death and was visiting Martha’s Vineyard. Barack and Michelle Obama weren’t present during the incident.
In a joint statement released on July 24, the Obama’s said Campbell was asked to stay with them when they left the White House.
“Tafari was a beloved part of our family. 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,” the statement said.
Fox News’ Stephen Sorace, Bryan Llenas and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.