Maeve Kennedy McKean, RFK Granddaughter, and Son Lost at Sea

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Maeve Kennedy McKean, granddaughter to the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and her son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean, are presumed dead after disappearing in heavy swells and high winds in the waters of Chesapeake Bay Thursday evening.

"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 a statement The Baltimore Sun reported.


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From all accounts Maeve 40, the daughter of former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, and granddaughter of Senator Robert F., and Ethel Kennedy, and Gideon, 8, the first great-grandchild of Robert and Ethel, and a sixth generation Kennedy, had recently retreated to the Kennedy-Townsend Maryland compound to escape the coronavirus pandemic.

Delaware Governor, Larry Logan stated in a press conference, "Ms. Kennedy McKean had entered the water, with her son in a small kayak to retrieve a ball that had blown out to sea by the high winds and the two were pushed further out and were unable to make it back to shore." The craft has been recovered.

A distress call from a concerned citizen who spotted the two struggling was logged at 4:30PM Thursday.


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The two are presumed dead. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, after an exhausted search covering more than 3500 nautical miles, the rescue mission has been called off and shifted to recovery.

As with most in the large Kennedy clan, it was thought that Maeve would have an infinity to the beach, sailing and other water related sports and would recognize the power of the ocean, high winds and her vulnerability against the strength of seas. Winds were registering 29knots with swells at one to three feet at the time of her disappearance.

A small, human powered kayak and the physical strength of an avid beach lover and novice sailor along with an eight-year-old who essentially possess no upper body strength against the seas all add to the unfortunate poor or impaired judgment which proved to be a desperately wrong choice.


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The Kennedy Political dynasty, heirs to Camelot, has seen more than their share of tragedy. Both President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated during the tumultuous 1960's. Brother, and life-long Massachusetts Senator, Edward "Ted" Kennedy crashed his car off a Chappaquiddick bridge in July 1969, killing his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne.

Thirty years later, on July 16, 1999, the late president's son, John F. Kennedy, Jr, and his wife, Caroline Bessette Kennedy, and her sister, Lauren were killed when the plane he was piloting crashed into the waters off Martha's Vineyard.

Most recently on August 2, 2019 Saoirse Kennedy Hill, 22, committed suicide at the family compound in Cape Cod.


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Maeve is survived by her husband, David, and two children, Gabriella, 7, and Toby, 2. Her parents, David Townsend and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, as well as numerous family relatives as her grandfather Robert and Grandmother Ethel, had a very large family.

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