Kristen A. McKellar died after being struck by a boat while swimming Aug. 2 at Damariscotta Lake.

A Lincolnville woman out for an evening swim on Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson was killed Thursday night when a motorboat hit her, the Maine Warden Service said Friday.

Kristen McKellar was passionate about animals and was involved in Maine Coast Animal Rescue.

Kristen A. McKellar, 32, was swimming with a friend in the north end of the lake  about 8:45 p.m. when she was struck by a boat driven by Jonathan D. Roberts of Waban, Massachusetts, according to Sgt. Aaron Cross.

Roberts, 43, and his passengers immediately tried to help McKellar, the warden service said.

Cross said the incident happened off East Pond Road, in front of private camps.

When members of the Jefferson Fire Department arrived at the scene, the boat was about 50 yards from shore and its passengers were screaming for help, Jefferson Fire Chief Walter Morris said.

The passengers couldn’t start the boat’s engine and were paddling to shore, according to Morris. At one point, a man who lived nearby paddled out in a kayak and helped guide them to the dock where the firefighters were waiting.


As they came to shore, Roberts was performing CPR on McKellar in the back of the boat, according to Morris.

Once the boat reached the dock, rescue workers from Jefferson and Waldoboro spent over an hour trying to resuscitate McKellar, Morris said, “but unfortunately to no avail.”

At one point, Morris said that he called for a LifeFlight of Maine helicopter to transport the woman but canceled the request.

“I got them coming, but then the paramedic advised that LifeFlight would not be needed,” Morris said.

Friends and family members expressed shock at the sudden death of McKellar.

Her sister, Alison McKellar, said that she was devastated by the news and that Kristen had been her best friend.


Kristen McKellar grew up in Camden and Union and attended local schools, including Montessori, Mary E. Taylor Middle School and Camden Hills Regional High School. She studied at Stetson University in Florida.

She was passionate about rescuing animals in need and was involved in Maine Coast Animal Rescue, The Courier-Gazette reported.

“The whole family has animals that Kristen has asked us to foster ‘temporarily,’ ” Alison McKellar said.

She said Kristen would also ride her motorcycle with a rescued dog on her back.

Kristen McKellar did various things for work, including website design and carpentry. She was in the process of refurbishing a house in Belfast at the time of her death. Her sister said she was always taking on daunting challenges and amazing her family with what she could accomplish.

“Last night this world lost an unbelievably bright, beautiful soul in a tragic accident,” Camden Select Board member Jenna Lookner said on Facebook. “Kristen was a magical human being with deep compassion for all living creatures, an incredible wit, and a spirit that cannot be replicated. I am so lucky to have known her, to have grown up with the McKellar sisters. Kristen will never be far from my heart.”


Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Charles Eichacker and Daniel Dunkle of The Courier-Gazette contributed to this report.

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

Twitter: noelinmaine

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