In a tragic turn of events, a 43-year-old paddleboarder who went missing on Sunday evening in the waters of Martha’s Vineyard was found dead on Monday morning. The man, whose identity has not yet been released, was out paddleboarding with a companion when he suddenly appeared to struggle, submerged and failed to resurface. The incident occurred near the $12 million mansion owned by the Obama family, adding a twist to the unfolding scene.
The companion who was with the man at the time of the incident immediately alerted the authorities. Interestingly, the 911 call and dispatch address for the incident were linked to Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard home. However, it remains unclear whether the former president and his family were at the estate at the time of the incident.
Upon receiving the distress call, a joint-agency search operation was swiftly launched at approximately 7:46 PM on Sunday. The operation involved numerous agencies, including Edgartown Fire and all other island fire departments, local police, State Police patrols, Air Wing, detectives, the Dukes County Sheriff’s Department, and the Coast Guard.
Despite the extensive search efforts that involved divers, marine assets, and aerial support, the man was not found on Sunday night. The darkness and the vastness of the pond presented significant challenges to the search operation according to officials.
As dawn broke on Monday, the search operation resumed. The operation included divers and boat crews deploying side-scan sonar, a technology that uses sound waves to create images of the underwater environment. Aerial support from Massachusetts State Police (MSP) and US Coast Guard helicopter crews provided a bird’s eye view of the search area, aiding in the efforts.
In addition to the teams from the previous night, the MSP Underwater Recovery Unit and the Massachusetts Environmental Police joined the search operation.
Shortly before 10 AM, the body of the missing paddleboarder was recovered from Edgartown Great Pond by Massachusetts State Police divers. The recovery was made approximately 100 feet from shore at a depth of about eight feet. The victim’s body was located by Massachusetts Environmental Police Officers deploying side-scan sonar from a boat.
The investigation into the fatality is currently being conducted by the State Police Detective Unit for the Cape and Islands District and Edgartown Police. Further details about the incident and the victim are expected to be released later.
The Obamas own a home on Martha’s Vineyard, an island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts known for being an affluent summer colony. They purchased the property in 2019 after renting it for a summer.