April 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for the daughter and grandson of former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend after the two went missing in the Chesapeake Bay.
Townsend said Friday that the search for her family members had turned from a rescue to a recovery. The search was called off later that night.
"My heart is crushed, yet we shall try to summon the grace of God and what strength we have to honor the hope, energy and passion that Maeve and Gideon set forth into the world," Townsend said in a statement to CNN. "My family thanks all for the outpouring of love and prayers as we grieve and try to bear this devastating loss."
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and her son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean, 8, went missing Thursday afternoon after they got into a canoe together to get a ball that was kicked into the water. The family were at Townsend's home in Shady Side, Md., at the time.
"They just got farther out than they could handle and couldn't get back in," David McKean said.
In a Facebook post Friday, David McKean described his wife as "my everything."
"Despite heroic efforts by the Coast Guard and many state and local authorities, the decision has now been made to suspend the active rescue effort. The search that began yesterday afternoon went on throughout the night and continued all day today. It is now dark again. It has been more than 24 hours, and the chances they have survived are impossibly small. It is clear that Maeve and Gideon have passed away. The search for their recovery will continue, and I hope that that will be successful," he said.
The Coast Guard said there was a 30 mph wind in the area at the time and there were waves about 2 feet to 3 feet high.
Anne Arundel County Fire Department Capt. Erik Kornmeyer said someone reported spotting the canoe from a nearby pier and that the boaters appeared to be "struggling."
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources said an overturned canoe matching the one the McKeans were using was found.