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Rafting company owner in North Creek faces additional charges

A guide from the Hudson River Rafting Company takes clients down the Hudson River in North River May 5, 2012 during the White Water Derby.

A guide from the Hudson River Rafting Company takes clients down the Hudson River in North River May 5, 2012 during the White Water Derby. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— •No 16-foot raft from the Hudson River Rafting Company and/or Cunningham be operated with more than 12 occupants in the raft, plus the guide;

•And that Cunningham not violate any laws, rules or regulations of the state of New York.

That all changed on Sept. 5, however, when Purdue applied to restore the indictment against Cunningham and his company because Cunningham had allegedly violated the March 29 agreement by:

•allegedly leaving his raft — with two customers aboard — 4 miles before the end of a May 27 trip down the Hudson River, essentially leaving them without a guide for a portion of the trip.

•and allegedly sending two customers down the river on Aug. 26 in a “ducky” without a licensed guide and without signing a rental agreement.

Rafting death

The Hudson River Rafting Company has been under public scrutiny since the Sept. 27 rafting run where a customer died while under the supervision of an intoxicated guide.

Guide Rory Fay, 37, of North Creek, was operating a raft on the Indian River as a New York state licensed guide employed by the rafting company when Tamara F. Blake, 53, of Ohio, was thrown from the raft and drowned.

New York State Police that responded to a report of a missing rafter determined Fay was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Fay pleaded guilty on Nov. 26 at the Hamilton County Court House to criminally negligent homicide, misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third-degree.

Restraining order

On Oct. 19, state Supreme Court Judge Richard Giardino officially prohibited the Hudson River Rafting Company and Cunningham from operating a rafting business until charges from the state attorney general have been addressed. He signed the temporary restraining order, which was filed by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Oct. 10.

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