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The grandson and adult daughter of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend went missing after the pair’s canoe apparently capsized in the Chesapeake Bay, authorities said Friday. Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and her 8-year-old son Gideon were canoeing in Anne Arundel, Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan told reporters on Friday, adding that the search was ongoing.
Some of the kids that day at the family home had been playing with a ball that went into the water, and so Maeve and son Gideon “popped into a canoe to chase it down,” David, 38, told the Post.
“They just got farther out than they could handle and couldn’t get back in,” he said.
A 911 call came in about them at 4:30 p.m. From a pier not far from the home, “a concerned citizen …. stated he saw two people in a small canoe or kayak drifting in the bay,” according to the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.
“Firefighters arrived at the pier and confirmed the sighting of two people in a small vessel several miles from the pier drifting south in the Chesapeake Bay,” the department said in a statement on Friday.
In a statement issued Friday night, Townsend said the search for her daughter, 40-year-old Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, and 8-year-old grandson, Gideon, was now a recovery effort.
“With profound sadness, I share the news that the search for my beloved daughter Maeve and grandson Gideon has turned from rescue to recovery,” Townsend said in the statement.
“Maeve was vivid. You always knew when she was in a room,” Townsend added. “Her laughter was loud, unabashed and infectious. She did everything with her full self and her whole heart.”
According to the Maryland Lt Governor . ” Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s daughter, Maeve, and her 8-year-old grandson Gideon went missing after canoeing yesterday afternoon on the south river here in Anne Arundel. An intensive search has been underway since late yesterday “.
A Maryland Department of Natural Resources statement said a preliminary investigation “revealed that the pair may have been paddling the canoe from a residence in Shady Side, MD out into the bay to retrieve a ball and were unable to paddle back to shore.”
An overturned canoe was later found, the department said.
Rescuers from the Natural Resources Police, Maryland State Police, U.S. Coast Guard and local police and fire departments continued their search on Friday, officials said.
Kennedy Townsend comes from one of the most famous political clans in U.S. history. She’s the oldest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and niece of former President John F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy.
Kennedy Townsend served two terms of lieutenant governor of Maryland.
Our hope and prayers are with the family in this time of need.