Another stroke of fate strikes the Kennedy clan. After a canoe accident, there is sad certainty that two relatives have died. The tragedy occurred at a familiar retreat.
The situation had been hopeless for days. Now, almost a week after the canoe accident, members of the Kennedy clan in the United States recovered the body of the missing boy. Rescue workers found the lifeless body of eight-year-old Gideon McKean underwater in the bay on Wednesday, where the accident had occurred, the Maryland police force said after a day-long search.
The body of his mother, the granddaughter of the US Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was found on Monday about 600 meters from the location of the child’s body. Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and her son have been missing since a canoe accident last Thursday.
On behalf of the family, the former Maryland Vice Governor and mother of the late McKean, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, expressed her gratitude to the emergency services and the state government for their “tireless work” in finding relatives. In a statement quoted by CNN and NBC, she spoke of a “terrible loss”.
Tragedy occurred in a family retreat
The McKeans had traveled from the capital Washington to Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s estate because of the corona pandemic to enter home quarantine there. At Chesapeake Bay, a bay that later flows into the Atlantic, children should have more space to play, as McKean’s husband David wrote on Facebook.
It was at the familiar retreat that the tragedy occurred: When playing in the garden, a ball fell into the bay on Thursday. The son and mother wanted to bring the ball back in a canoe. The water at the house was normally well protected from the wind, but the canoe had apparently been aborted, the father had written. The coast guard had used a helicopter, a transport plane and several ships for the search on Friday. Finally the capsized canoe was found – empty. Since then, Gideon and his mother have been considered dead.
Great grief over tragic incident
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan expressed his shock at the discovery of the bodies on Twitter and spoke of a “devastating loss” for the family.
The daughter and grandson of former Maryland Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Maeve and Gideon McKean, have now both been found. Please continue to keep their family in your prayers as they mourn this devastating loss.
– Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) April 8, 2020
“Maeve was my everything,” David McKean wrote in a long post on Facebook the day after the disappearance. He wrote about his wife: “She was my best friend and soul mate.” The seven year old daughter Gabriella and the two and a half year old son Toby are also left behind.
The disaster follows a number of other tragic incidents that the legendary Kennedy clan has experienced over the decades. Numerous members of the politician dynasty died prematurely. McKean’s grandfather Robert “Bobby” Kennedy (1925-1968) was assassinated during the 1968 presidential campaign in Los Angeles. Five years earlier, his older brother and then President John F. Kennedy had been murdered while driving through Dallas, Texas. In July 1999, President John F. Kennedy Junior, his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and their sister Lauren Bessette were killed in a plane crash off the east coast of the United States. Last August, another Robert Kennedy granddaughter, Saoirse Kennedy Hill, died from an overdose at the age of 22 on the family estate at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.