ROME — A Chesterville teen died Friday, a day after he was pulled from the water at Great Pond in Rome where he had been swimming with friends, according to a family friend.

The 16-year-old was identified as Jeffrey Pepin, who would have been entering his senior year at Mt. Blue High School in the fall.

“Jeff was ‘all boy’ throughout middle school. He loved music, really getting into our rock ‘n’ roll units,” said Maureen White Oswald, a Farmington-area teacher. “He was definitely a hands-on kid who learned best by doing, and was happiest when outside. I remember him as funny, everyone’s friend with not a mean bone in his body. He was an excellent athlete with football and baseball being strengths. He had a perpetual smile.”

Officials said the teen was swimming with two friends Thursday at Great Pond in Rome and went under as they were trying to swim from a boat back to Crooked Island.

Fire officials say it took between 15 to 20 minutes for his friends to find and get him out of the water. A nearby off-duty nurse performed CPR and he was transported to Maine General Hospital in Augusta.

The Maine Warden Service is investigating the incident but did not return messages left on Friday.

By Friday afternoon, word was beginning to spread that Pepin had died. On Facebook, friends and relatives were posting photos of Pepin playing baseball, posing with friends or just mugging for the camera.

“He was on the Katahdin community in middle school,” Oswald said, “but his friends were numerous and he was sincerely well liked by all.”


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