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Charges against rafting company owner dismissed

INDIAN LAKE - Patrick Cunningham, owner of Hudson River Rafting Co. in North Creek had his slate wiped clean last week by Hamilton County judge S. Peter Feldstein due to lack of evidence.

Cunningham and one of his guides, Heath Bromley, were charged in the fall with second-degree reckless endangerment after allegedly sending customers down the HudsonRiver Gorge without a licensed guide and abandoning others on the water. The five misdemeanor counts against Cunningham were dismissed in Hamilton County Court. Bromley was never indicted.

It was reported to authorities during last year's rafting season that Cunningham sent a kayaker down the river without a licensed guide and abandoned a raft group - consisting of mostly children, leaving them to finish half of their trip, again, without a licensed guide. Multiple reports led to a DEC investigation.

Three people were injured on the river this year while on Hudson River Rafting Company trips, according to Hamilton County District Attorney James Curry.

"The rangers who have worked on this rightfully had a cause for concern," said Curry.

Cunningham was represented by Eric Schwenker. No further action is scheduled in the case, according to Hamilton County.

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.

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