The Kennedy dynasty has had a long series of tragic events happen in the family over the years, since the assassination of former president John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, in 1963. Sadly, tragedy has struck the family yet again. This week, 40-year-old Maeve Kennedy McKean and her eight-year-old son Gideon disappeared while canoeing in the South River in Maryland. They ended up in the Chesapeake Bay by accident, and were unprepared for the rough waters. The pair are now presumed dead, after the Coast Guard couldn't find them during an extensive search.
On Saturday, Maeve's husband David McKean made a post on Facebook saying the chances that the two survived are "impossibly small" and added that "It is clear that Maeve and Gideon have passed away."
In addition to the historic assassination of John F. Kennedy, his brother, Robert F. Kennedy was also slain just five years later when he was campaigning for president in 1968. In 1999 John F. Kennedy Jr, along with his wife and sister-in-law died when the small plane he was piloting crashed off the coast of Massachusetts.
Saoirse Kennedy Hill, a granddaughter of RFK, died at the age of 22 last, in what was ultimately ruled as a drug overdose. David Kennedy, Robert's son, also died of a drug overdose in 1984, at age 28. Michael Kennedy, another son of Robert, died in a skiing accident in Colorado in 1997.
According to The Daily Beast, Maeve and her son were playing on a beach in a small, shallow cove behind the family's house, when one of them accidentally kicked a ball into the water. They then ventured out in a canoe in an attempt to retrieve the ball. However, the cove opened up into the Chesapeake bay, and strong currents pushed them further down the bay. About a half-hour after they were seen leaving in the canoe, someone reported seeing them struggle in the water.
The Coast Guard recovered their capsized canoe a few miles away from the beach around 7 o clock in the evening on Friday.
Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter and her young son go missing on Chesapeake Bay
A granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy and her 8-year-old son are missing. Crews are searching Chesapeake Bay for 40-year-old Maeve Kennedy McKean and her son Gideon, who were last seen in a canoe. pic.twitter.com/Yo7Z6ztw7D
— ivan (@ivan8848) April 3, 2020
A statement from the Maryland Natural Resources Police, which is leading the investigation, said Friday that 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."
Anne Arundel Fire Captain Erik Kornmeyer said that a team from his facility was the first to respond to the scene, and they arrived just a few minutes after the initial call was made, but it was still too late to track them down.
According to a press release from the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, the United States Coast Guard and a fireboat from the City of Annapolis Fire Department found the canoe and paddle east of Rockhold Creek in Deale, Maryland, near Herring Bay, with no sign of its occupants anywhere nearby.
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean was the executive director of Georgetown University's Global Health Initiative.