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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.

— Around 10:20 a.m. on the Indian River, Fay and Blake were ejected from the raft in whitewater conditions. Clar was able to stay within the raft and eventually steer it to the shoreline. Fay was able to swim to the shoreline. Clar and Fay walked to Chain Lakes Road where they were able to obtain assistance. Blake was unable to be located and authorities were notified.

New York State Police Aviation was used to search the river, and Blake’s body was discovered about 5 miles downstream in the Hudson River.

State Police determined that Rory Fay was intoxicated while transporting Clar and Blake on the rafting trip. State Police Captain John Tibbits said through direct observation, officers believe Fay exhibited physical signs of intoxication while they spoke with him.

“Our officers are pretty adept at identifying people who are under the influence,” Tibbits said. “He smelled of alcohol, they way he stood and acted led officers to believe he was intoxicated.”

Fay submitted to a blood alcohol test, and the BAC results will not be available for several weeks, Tibbits said.

Fay was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide regarding Blake’s death and remanded to the Hamilton County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail or $100,000 bond.

Charges

The Hudson River Rafting Company has offered rafting trips on the Hudson, Black and Sacandaga rivers since 1981. The attorney general charges that the company has broken the law for:

•repeatedly not providing licensed guides on rafting excursions;

•persistent false advertising;

•repeatedly having employees drive customers on the company’s bus from North Creek to Indian Lake without valid drivers’ licenses for operating a bus;

•and statutory fraud by “misrepresenting the services they provide.”

Under state law, the DEC requires all rafting companies to provide licensed guide for excursions down these rivers.

“Since at least 2007, respondents have repeatedly violated (state law) by providing unlicensed guides for river rafting excursions on the subject rivers,” states the attorney general’s petition.

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