A Waterville woman has been identified by authorities as the person who drowned Thursday in the Kennebec River near Oosoola Park in Norridgewock.

The woman, Barbara York, 53, was a passenger in a motorboat operated by Jeffrey Smith, 50, of Norridgewock, when both were ejected from the boat and into the river, according to a news release Friday from the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Neither York nor Smith was wearing a personal flotation device, but such devices were on the boat, according to the release. According to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife boating safety manual, 90 percent of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket.

Smith attempted life-saving efforts on York “to no avail,” the release said.

York’s body was found about a mile and half up the river from the Oosoola Park boat launch, according to the release. She was pronounced dead by emergency medical personnel at the scene.

The Maine Warden Service is investigating York’s death as a boating-related fatality and is working with the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in the investigation, the release said.

Assistant District Attorney Brent Davis was at the scene Thursday at Oosoola Park.

Maine game wardens, Maine State Police, the Norridgewock Fire Department and emergency medical personnel responded to a 911 call of a possible drowning in the Kennebec River in Norridgewock at 4 p.m. Thursday, the release said.

After York was identified on Friday, friends took to Facebook to leave kind messages on her newsfeed. In the posts, York was described as someone who loved life and her family, including a daughter and grandchildren.

“Barb loved life (and) her family always came first, she loved life so much and lived it to its fullest everyday,” one commenter wrote Friday afternoon.

From comments and photos on both York’s and Smith’s Facebook pages, it appears the two were in a relationship. The couple, along with York’s daughter, are seen taking a boating excursion on a lake in a June 24 post. It is not clear whether the boat in the photo is the boat involved in Thursday’s accident.

Attempts to contact Smith and York’s daughter Friday were unsuccessful.

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