"We didn't think she'd go that far," Pike said.
The Merrimack River has claimed two other lives in recent months. In May, Newburyport police recovered the body of a German national who had been reported missing last November after alling out of the dingy he was piloting to retrieve his dog tied up near Cashman Park, in the same general area of the river where Sunday's drowning occurred. In June 2011, 29-year-old Derrick Lee's body was found two days after he was believed to have slipped off the 20-foot cabin cruiser he has been living in, moored at the Ring's Island Marina.
Cove Marina owner Brian Mullen said the victim's 33-foot-long white Sea Ray power boat had been moored since the beginning of summer, the victim's first at the marina. Mullen said he didn't know how she entered the water but mentioned she had just left another boat and was walking towards her moored vessel when the accident occurred.
"I just don't know how it happened," Mullen said.
Founded in 1989, Cove Marina is open 24 hours a day during its season which runs from May into October. Yesterday the victim's boat was still in its mooring.