The 911 call from Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean and her son, Gideon’s, canoe accident was released. The audio reveals that a witness ‘tried to wave’ to the pair as their boat was swept away.
A week and a half after Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter, Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, and her eight-year-old son, Gideon McKean, died in the Chesapeake Bay, the 911 call from their tragic canoe incident was released. A bystander called 911 after spotting Maeve and Gideon’s canoe get swept away by the strong winds. “I tried to wave to them, but they’re so far out, I guess they couldn’t see me,” the man told the dispatcher, according to People. He identified both victims as children, but it was later confirmed by officials that Maeve and Gideon were the two people on the boat.
It was previously revealed by Maeve’s family that she and Gideon paddled out in their canoe to chase down a ball. The 911 caller told the same story, and explained that the “wind kicked up,” which propelled the mother and son further south. “They just went by us,” he explained to the dispatcher. At the time, he wasn’t sure that the pair were having an emergency, but he told the dispatcher that he thought that was the case.
When authorities arrived on the scene just over five minutes later, they could still see Maeve and Gideon’s canoe before it disappeared from the view. Later that night, the capsized boat and paddles were found, but it wasn’t until days later that Maeve and Gideon’s bodies were discovered. Maeve’s body was found on April 6, and Gideon’s was found on April 8, 2,000 feet away from his mother. Officials confirmed that Maeve’s cause of death was accidental drowning, but Gideon’s cause of death remains pending.
Of course, Maeve and Gideon’s family is absolutely devastated over this tragedy. Due to quarantine restrictions amidst the coronavirus, the family was not able to have a typical funeral or memorial service. Instead, dozens of family members and thousands of others joined in on a virtual service on April 11, which included performances from Kenny Chesney, Natasha Bedingfield and Melissa Etheridge.