Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy & her 8-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean drown after missing in Chesapeake Bay.
Another tragic saga in the life of a blue blood American dynasty…
A grand-niece of President John F. Kennedy and her 8 year old son have been presumed drowned after rowing into the rough Chesapeake Bay in Maryland to recover a soccer ball, only to never be seen again, authorities said Friday of the missing pair.
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, and her 8-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean, got into the canoe around 4 p.m. Thursday outside her mother’s home in Shady Side, according to the Washington Post.
The child had been kicking a ball with other kids when it fell into the water, and the pair went to retrieve it amid high winds, her husband, David McKean, told the paper.
‘[They] popped into a canoe to chase it down. They just got farther out than they could handle, and couldn’t get back in,’ McKean said.
The pair was later sucked into the South River where they drowned, Gov. Larry Hogan said at a press conference Friday.
An overturned canoe matching the description of the one that went missing was recovered, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources police said.
Maeve McKean, the daughter of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, was visiting her mother — when the tragedy struck.
Kennedy curse strikes again:
A concerned person called authorities around 4:30 p.m. Thursday to say he had seen the canoe near the Columbia Beach pier, according to Capt. Erik Kornmeyer, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.
The caller reported that boaters were ‘seen struggling to return to shore in a canoe’ near Herring Bay amid high winds before vanishing, the Coast Guard said.
Anne Arundel Fire Captain Erik Kornmeyer told CBS that, despite arriving within five minutes of the call, rescuers were unable to reach the canoe. ‘Currents were pretty fast, they moved out of sight pretty quickly,’ he said.
Rescuers searched for the missing pair until nightfall Thursday and set out once again Friday morning, to no avail. A spokesman for the US Coast Guard told the Washington Post the wind in that part of the bay reached about 30 mph Thursday afternoon, with waves 2 to 3 feet high.
McKean was the executive director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative.
McKean served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique before returning home in 2002 to help her mother, Kathleen, campaign for governor of Maryland the dailybeast reports. She also worked for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), where she met her husband, also a human rights lawyer. McKean worked on the State Department’s global AIDS program and on human rights in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration.
The Kennedy family has been plagued by tragedies ranging from the assassinations of McKean’s grandfather and great-uncle to the fatal plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy Jr., to the heart attack that killed Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s niece, Kara, in 2011 and the death by suicide of his ex-wife, Mary, in 2012 along with the drug overdose death of Saoirse Kennedy Hill last year.