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EDGARTOWN, Mass. – A White House chef for Barack Obama during his administration who later became the personal chef for the former president’s family died while paddleboarding off Martha’s Vineyard, authorities said.

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The body of Tafari Campbell, 45, of Dumfries, Virginia, who was visiting the area, was found just before 10 a.m. EDT Monday, WFXT-TV reported. His body was found about 100 feet from shore in Edgartown Great Pond in water about 8 feet deep by the Massachusetts Environmental Police, according to The New York Times.

The incident occurred near the Obamas’ home at Martha’s Vineyard, The Washington Post reported.

Officials said Barack and Michelle Obama were not at the residence at the time of the accident, WFXT reported.

“Tafari was a beloved part of our family,” the Obamas said in a statement on 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.”

Police and fire agencies responded to a call at 7:46 p.m. EDT on Sunday for a man who had gone into the water while paddleboarding and dipped under the surface after struggling to stay afloat, WFXT reported.

After several hours of searching on Sunday night, “the operation was paused to allow dive teams, flight crews and other responders to re-equip and assess next steps,” the Massachusetts State Police said in a statement.

Chief Alex Schaeffer of the Edgartown Fire Department told The Vineyard Gazette that island police officers and firefighters had conducted door-to-door searches after Campbell was reported missing. Firefighters also searched the pond’s shoreline by foot, according to the news outlet.

Members of the state police underwater recovery unit and the Massachusetts Environmental Police joined the search Monday morning, WFXT reported.

Police said that Campbell was not wearing a life jacket, The Associated Press reported.

Campbell appeared in a 2012 video with chef Sam Kass, the Post reported. He was filmed helping to brew battches of beer with honey from the White House beehive.