Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s daughter, grandson presumed dead after canoeing accident

National News

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 12: David McKean, Maeve Kennedy Townsend Mckean and family attend the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts 2019 Ripple Of Hope Gala & Auction In NYC on December 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights)

The grandson and adult daughter of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend are presumed dead after the pair’s canoe apparently capsized in the Chesapeake Bay, Townsend said 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.”

The pair went missing late Thursday afternoon in waters near the pair’s Shady Side, Maryland home, about 25 miles south of Annapolis, officials said.

Gov. Larry Hogan said that he had been in touch with Townsend “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.”

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, approximately matching the description the pair were in, was later found, the department 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.

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