GLOUCESTER — A woman who died after she was pulled from the sea early Sunday afternoon at Rafe's Chasm has been identified.

No foul play is suspected in the apparent drowning death of Cassandra Baker, 41, of Beverly, said both Gloucester police Chief Ed Conley and Essex County District Attorney's Office spokesperson Carrie Kimball. 

On Sunday at approximately 12:51 p.m., Gloucester police and firefighters responded to a report of person in the water in Rafe's Chasm, Kimball said. 

The Fire Department sent in its water response team — an ambulance and engine and ladder trucks from Magnolia station, fire Capt. Barry Aptt said. 

"On arrival they found a woman unresponsive in the water," Kimball said. 

Because of the woman's location — in the waves among the rocks at the very edge of Rafe's Chasm — Aptt said another ladder truck crew was called in from fire headquarters to help pull her from the water.

Firefighter/paramedics provided emergency medical care before carrying the woman out of the woods. She was taken by ambulance to Addison Gilbert Hospital where she was later pronounced dead, according to Conley.

Baker was a 2001 graduate of Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, the college confirmed on Monday. She went on to earn her Master of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. 

"A special and immensely talented soul has been lost in the passing of Cassandra 'Cassie' Baker," said Montserrat President Kurt Steinberg in a statement. 

Steinberg said Baker was "a rising star in her creative career which included fine art, writing and the beginning of what we expect would have been a big career in film." 

"Her biggest mentor, friend and fan was Rose Olson of Beverly, a longtime professor at the college, now Professor Emeritus," he said. "An exhibition by Rose and Cassie Baker was held just last year in the college's Founder's Gallery to great accolades. We are devastated by this news. Our community is mourning her loss and we send our thoughts and prayers to her friends and family."

Baker's death remains under investigation by Gloucester Police and the Essex County District Attorney's Office.

Rafe's Chasm is located off Hesperus Avenue on private property, about 50 yards from Rafe's Chasm Park, which is owned by the city. The deep chasm in the rocks along the Magnolia shore, located near Normans Woe, is a popular fishing spot.


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