Kristen McKellar is pictured here with her dog in a photograph submitted to CBS 13 by Alison McKellar. She was hit by a boat in Damariscotta Lake and died. Credit: CBS 13

A Maine woman was killed after being hit by a boat while swimming in Damariscotta Lake Thursday night.

Wardens say it was just before 9 p.m. that Kristen McKellar, 32, of Lincolnville, was swimming with a friend just off shore and was struck by a boat.

McKellar’s friends say she was adventurous as they come.

“You name it, Kristen could do it. That’s for sure,” McKellar’s friend Danielle Blake said. ” I think that she was swimming and unfortunately, someone came on a boat, didn’t have his lights on or something.”

Wardens say the driver of the boat, who was from Massachusetts, immediately tried to help McKellar, but it was too late.

“She’s always outside. You know, adventurous. It’s no surprise to me that she was swimming at 8 p.m. at night or whatever time it was,” Blake said.

From her love of the outdoors to her affection for animals, McKellar was a large part of the Maine Coast Animal Rescue.

Her own dog, Diego, was one of dozens of pit bulls she helped save.

“She rescued a squirrel a couple years ago, rehabilitated that. Helps with all the dogs, cats. She’s definitely a huge animal activist,” Blake said. “The effects of Kristen being gone, [Diego] already knows. She taught him every trick, jumping as a backpack, he rides on the motorcycle with her.”

While her death is still be investigated, her family hopes her compassion for animals will live on.

“Today is a big transport day and she would already be here. So, I’m actually a little bit in denial today, just to get through today,” Blake said.

Friends and family say they hope to continue McKellar’s work with animals. They’re asking people to make donations to Maine Coast Animal Rescue in her honor.

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