A recently released 911 audio revealed the moment a frantic Secret Service agent told an emergency dispatcher that the Obama’s chef was drowning.
“We have a male drowning in the back of the property now,” said an agent who was identified as Dave11 calls.
Tafari Campbell, 45, fell off his board into the Edgartown Great Pond before disappearing under the surface.
“We have our rescue swimmers, they’re attempting to go out there right now,” Dave told a dispatcher, per the redacted audio.
Dave made the emergency call around 7:46 p.m., telling a dispatcher that at least one swimmer and another Secret Service agent had gone to find Campbell.
While they were not present when Campbell drowned, an unnamed individual called their attention to the situation.
“It’s not clear from the call who the individual was, but previous reporting indicates it was a second female Obama staffer who desperately tried to save her coworker when he went underwater,” the New York Post reported.
“Someone came running up to our back post, saying a gentleman, it’s just a guest of the house, is out there drowning.”
According to The New York Post, Dave had tumbled for words for several seconds after the dispatcher asked if agents needed an ambulance or water rescue help.
He said he wasn’t sure what was occurring “in the back of the property.”
“They didn’t advise right now. I would say at least an ambulance,” Dave said.
He then asked if he could contact 911 on another line to follow up, adding that “they’re not passing information over the radio right now.”
The Post adds:
The dispatcher agrees and gives Dave a number before ending the call with a final request: a basic description of the missing man.
Dave called dispatchers back just a few minutes later with a noticeably more panicked demeanor.
“So our rescue swimmers aren’t able to locate the gentleman that was reported drowning,” Dave said.
“They’re out in the water right now, but as of now, they don’t know where he is.”
🚨 BREAKING: New audio reveals Secret Service agent's 911 call for help after Barack Obama's personal chef Tafari Campbell fell off paddle board and drowned near Obama’s Martha's Vineyard home pic.twitter.com/WEPK0vytAM— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 24, 2023
During the 911 audio, a different dispatcher asked Dave to give him a more detailed description of what Obama’s chef was wearing before he went under.
The audio indicated that the agent was conferring over the radio with other team members before being able to describe the chef.
“He’s wearing all black, he’s on a paddle board, he’s 40ish years old, black gentlemen, regular build,” the agent responded.
“And we have our rescue swimmers on a boat in the area now.”
Dave then radioed in to confirm that Campbell’s paddleboard had been recovered and he was not wearing a life jacket.
Campbell’s body was recovered the next day, just 100 feet from the shoreline of the Obama estate.
“Tafari was a beloved part of our family,” the Obamas wrote in a statement following his death.
“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,” they added.