The granddaughter of the late Robert F Kennedy and her young son were missing on Friday after drifting out into the Chesapeake Bay on a canoe, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said.
An intensive search continued for Maeve Fahey Townsend, and her son Gideon, Hogan said.
Maeve Townsend is the daughter of former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and the granddaughter of Robert F Kennedy, who was assassinated while a candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 1968.
"I reached out to and spoke with Lieutenant Governor Townsend this morning and on behalf of the people of Maryland I expressed our most heartfelt sympathies," Hogan said in a briefing posted online.
The Anne Arundel County Fire Department, one of the agencies searching for Townsend and her son, said it had received a call on Thursday at about 4:30pm local time, reporting that two people in a small canoe or kayak were drifting into Chesapeake Bay.
Rescuers were sent to the area and a search began. At around 7pm local time the kayak and paddle were found, but not the missing people, the department said.