An active search for two members of the Kennedy family who went missing Thursday during a boating trip on Chesapeake Bay in Maryland has been suspended, the U.S. Coast Guard said Friday, according to reports.
Family member Kathleen Kennedy Townsend says the search for her 40-year-old daughter, Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, and the daughter’s 8-year-old son Gideon McKean “has turned from rescue to recovery,” according to a statement.
Both McKean and her son were seen struggling to return to shore during a canoe trip near Herring Bay, Washington, D.C.’s FOX 5 reported.
The mother and son had gotten into the canoe to chase a ball that had gone into the water during a family gathering, McKean’s husband, David McKean, told The Washington Post.
“They just got farther out than they could handle and couldn’t get back in,” he told the newspaper.
The gathering was at the home of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, 68, a daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and his wife Ethel Kennedy who served as Maryland’s lieutenant governor from 1995 to 2003.
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean was one of the grandchildren of Robert and Ethel Kennedy.
In her statement, Townsend said she was sharing the news of the loss her daughter and grandson “with profound sadness.”
“Our Maeve devoted her life to helping society’s most vulnerable,” she wrote. “She was a Peace Corps volunteer who pursued a career in law to give voice to the voiceless.”
According to the statement, McKean was executive director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative and taught bioethics and human rights there as an adjunct professor.
Maeve and David McKean met when Maeve took a job working for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., according to The Washington Post. Gideon was their first child.
In August 2019, Saoirse Kennedy Hill, 22 – another granddaughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy – died of a drug overdose in one of the family’s homes in Massachusetts.
She was a daughter of Courtney Kennedy Hill, one of Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s 11 children.