Obama Family Chef Tafari Campbell Was Not Wearing Lifejacket When He Drowned While Paddle-Boarding, Police Say

Tafari Campbell was not wearing a lifejacket and did not tether his leg to his paddleboard, Massachusetts police say.

More details have been released about the drowning death of the Obamas’ personal chef, who died while paddle-boarding in Martha's Vineyard.

Tafari Campbell was not wearing a lifejacket and did not have his leg tethered to the paddleboard, according to Massachusetts State Police.

"Mr. Campbell was standing on his paddleboard, lost his balance and fell into the water, then struggled to stay afloat," police said. "He was not wearing a personal flotation device and was not leashed to the paddle board."

An unidentified companion was paddle-boarding with Campbell and tried to save him.

Expert paddleboard instructor Dee Schmitz tells Inside Edition that wearing the leash is vital to doing the sport safely.

“That way if you fall off the board, the board's not going to get away from you,” Schmitz says.

The former White House sous chef was a strong swimmer, video on social media shows. But Schmitz says he likely became tangled in weeds as he struggled to get to shore.

“You feel those weeds around your legs and start to panic,” the instructor says. “The more you try to get out the more tangled you get.”

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