Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter and her son feared dead in canoe tragedy

4 April 2020, 09:37

Robert F Kennedy Jr posted a tribute on Instagram
Robert F Kennedy Jr posted a tribute on Instagram. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

US authorities have said they are conducting a ‘recovery mission’ after Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter and her eight-year-old son went missing after taking a canoe out on Maryland Bay to retrieve a lost ball.

Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and her eight-year-old son Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean went out in a canoe in the Chesapeake Bay on Thursday and did not return to shore.

"With profound sadness, I share the news that the search for my beloved daughter Maeve and grandson Gideon has turned from rescue to recovery," Kathleen Kennedy Townsend said in a statement.

A Maryland Natural Resources Police spokeswoman said authorities suspended the operation on Friday night but said it would resume this morning.

Robert F Kennedy Jr, posted on Instagram: 'Tonight, the Coast Guard informed our family that It has terminated rescue operations. The search for remains continues. Rest In Peace Maeve and Gideon.' 

Ms Kennedy Townsend, who served two terms as Maryland's lieutenant governor, is the eldest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, former attorney general of the US, who was assassinated in 1968.

Maryland governor Larry Hogan said: "I reached out to and spoke with Lt. Gov. Townsend this morning and on behalf of the people of Maryland I expressed our most heartfelt sympathies and prayers to her and to her entire family during this difficult time."

The search began after the state Natural Resources Police responded to a report of two people on a canoe in the Chesapeake Bay who appeared to be overtaken by strong winds.

A statement from the agency, which did not name the missing people, said they may have been paddling the canoe from a home in Shady Side, Maryland, to retrieve a ball and could not paddle back to shore.

An overturned canoe matching the one used by the missing people was found on Thursday night, the agency said.

"News of this tragedy hit me and my family hard this morning," said Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman.

"We are holding Kathleen and her family in the light, and holding our own loved ones a little closer as we reflect on their pain and their loss," he said in a statement.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Israel bombs displaced Palestinian camp in Rafah, killing dozens

Dozens killed as Israeli airstrike blasts Rafah refugee camp after Hamas fires rockets towards Tel Aviv

Papua New Guinea Landslide

Australian aid prepared for Papua New Guinea as rain increases landslide danger

Armenia Protest

Armenians throng to the capital to demand prime minister’s resignation

France New Caledonia

France to lift state of emergency in riot-razed New Caledonia after seven killed

Koreas Tensions

North Korea informs Japan of a plan to launch satellite

Israeli soldiers

Israeli strikes kill 35 in Rafah as displaced people hit, say Palestinian medics

US Severe Weather

At least 15 dead after storms wreak destruction in US

South Africa Elections

South African opposition party makes final pitch to voters

Israel Palestinians

’22 killed’ in Israeli air strike on tents for displaced people

Late PGA Tour golfer Grayson Murray took his own life, his parents have confirmed a day after his death aged 30 was announced.

'He was loved': Heartbroken parents pay tribute to golfer Grayson Murray who 'took own life'

Israel Palestinians

Tel Aviv takes cover as Hamas targets Israel with rocket barrage

APTOPIX Bangladesh Cyclone

Bangladesh evacuates hundreds of thousands as a severe cyclone approaches

Hamas victim's funeral

Hamas rocket attack from Gaza sets off air raid sirens in Tel Aviv

Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron

Macron arrives in Germany for three-day state visit

A fire at baby care center in New Delhi, India, has killed six infants

Seven babies die after fire breaks out at children's hospital in New Delhi

Documents handedover

Norway hands papers to Palestinian PM for diplomatic recognition