Robert Kennedy’s granddaughter and her son are missing after boating trip

A desperate search has been launched for Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter and her eight-year-old son after they went missing on a boating trip.

US reports have identified the politician’s relatives as two boaters that went missing in Maryland last night, before a canoe near where they went missing was found empty.

Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and her 8-year-old son Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean went missing in the Chesapeake Bay, near Annapolis.

Her husband David McKean confirmed his wife and son’s disappearance to the Washington Post.

He told the newspaper his wife and son “popped into a canoe to chase it down. They just got farther out than they could handle and couldn’t get back in.”

He did not say whether the pair’s canoe had been found.

However the Maryland Department of Natural Resources police reportedly said Friday that an overturned canoe matching the description of the one went missing had been recovered in the bay area.

Mrs McKean is granddaughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy and grandniece of the former US president John F. Kennedy (JFK), and the daughter of former lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

The missing mother is reportedly executive director of the Georgetown University Global Health Initiative.

The Anne Arundel County Fire Department said in a statement that a concerned onlooker had called authorities at 4:30pm local time on Thursday to say he saw the canoe from a local pier, according to the Post.

The Coast Guard reported that the caller said that the boaters were “seen struggling to return to shore in a canoe” near Herring Bay, and then were not seen again.

The high-profile Kennedy family has been through repeated tragedy, in a phenomenon that has come to be known as the ‘Kennedy Curse’.

JFK was assassinated at the peak of his presidency in 1963. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated five years later.

Mrs McKean’s cousin Saoirse Kennedy Hill died in an accidental drug overdose just last year, in the eleventh noted extraordary death in the family.

Mrs McKean told Glamour magazine in 2008 that the family’s apparently glamorous life was far from reality.

“People think, because I’m a Kennedy, I’m extremely wealthy and don’t flaunt it. Ha!” she said. “I have a great name, but by the time you get to the fourth generation, the money’s run out. We’re fortunate compared to the average American, but to think I’m a trust fund kid — so not true!”