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Court shuts down Hudson River Rafting Company operations

Attorney general made request after recent rafting death

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.

— A state Supreme Court judge Thursday, Oct. 11 issued a temporary restraining order against the Hudson River Rafting Company exactly two weeks after a woman died during one of the company’s rafting trips.

The order prohibits the company and its owner, Patrick Cunningham of North Creek, from operating a business that offers guided rafting excursions on any rivers in New York where guides licensed by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are required pending the final decision and order in this case.

On Oct. 10 on behalf of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, state Assistant Attorney General G. Nicholas Garin filed a petition against the Hudson River Rafting Company and Cunningham, alleging that the company and its owner practiced “fraudulent, deceptive, and illegal conduct with their business providing guided river excursions on various New York rivers.” Schneiderman is trying to recover restitution and damages for consumers victimized by the respondents’ alleged practices and to recover penalties and costs.

Justice Richard Girardino issued the restraining order Oct. 11 in Supreme Court at the Fulton County Courthouse in Johnstown (Hamilton County does not have a Supreme Court room). A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 19.

Asked Oct. 12 whether he has any comments regarding the attorney general’s petition or the court order, Cunningham said in a phone interview, “I have zero.”

Rafting death

A 53-year-old Ohio woman died in a rafting accident Sept. 27 on the Hudson River, and her Hudson River Rafting Company guide was arrested after police found him to be intoxicated.

New York State Police responded to Chain Lakes Road in the town of Indian Lake around noon for a report of a missing rafter. The investigation revealed that Rory F. Fay, 37, of North Creek, was operating a raft on the Indian River as a New York state licensed guide employed by the Hudson River Rafting Company. Fay had two passengers in the raft with him: Richard J. Clar, 53, and Tamara F. Blake, 53, both of Columbus, Ohio.

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