INDIAN LAKE - The owner of Hudson River Rafting Company in North Creek, Pat Cunningham, and one of his guides, Heath Bromley, were charged this week with second-degree reckless endangerment after allegedly sending customers down the Hudson River Gorge without a licensed guide and abandoning others on the water.
Cunningham is accused of endangering customers on several occasions this summer. According to the Hamilton County District Attorney office, he sent a kayaker down the river without a licensed guide and abandoned a raft group, leaving them to finish half of their trip, again, without a licensed guide.
Three people were injured on the river this year while on Hudson River Rafter Company trips, according to Hamilton County District Attorney James Curry.
One trip, guided by Bromley in August, included a group of children from New Jersey visiting the area on a trip through Longacre Expeditions, according to a complaint filed with forest ranger Steven Ovitt. The complaint revealed that the children had to hike to safety after being stranded on the river.
"The rangers who have worked on this rightfully have a cause for concern," said Curry.
Cunningham has operated his rafting business in North Creek and has guided trips on the Indian and Hudson Rivers for more than 30 years. He claims to have acted according to the law - endangering no one on either occasion. He plans to plead not guilty to the charges.
Both Cunningham and Bromley are free and awaiting an appearance in Indian Lake Town Court.