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Woman drowned during Hudson River rafting trip

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Woman drowned during Hudson River rafting trip

Adk Jeff
The guide, from Hudson River Rafting Co (Cunningham's), has been charged with criminally negligent homicide.
From this morning's Post Star:

INDIAN LAKE -- A woman drowned Thursday during a whitewater rafting trip on the Indian and Hudson rivers and the guide who led the trip was charged with criminally negligent homicide, according to State Police.

Few details were available early Friday. The victim's name was not released, and the circumstances of the drowning were not immediately released.

State Police said the woman fell in the water in the Indian River, and her body was recovered in the Hudson River.

The guide who was piloting the raft, Rory K. Fay, 37, of North Creek was charged with criminally negligent homicide, according to State Police. Authorities did not specify what he was accused of doing. He was sent to Hamilton County Jail for lack of bail.

Patrick Cunningham, the owner of Hudson River Rafting Co., said the person was on a trip guided by his company and Fay worked for his company.

The trips start on the Indian River, riding a bubble of water to the Hudson River and follows the Hudson to North River.

He said one guide was with the "small" group, and he was awaiting further details on what happened.

"It's a tragedy," Cunningham said.

He said State Police interviewed him, but he had not talked with Fay and did not know he had been charged and jailed until a Post-Star reporter informed him.

Cunningham said Fay began working as a guide for his company this spring, passed the guide's test and had taken about 20 trips.

State Police in Ray Brook said the incident happened around noon Thursday, and a press release will be issued later Friday.

More information will be posted when it becomes available.

The prosecution is not the first of Cunningham's staff for a rafting mishap. Cunningham and one of his guides were charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment in 2010, though charges against the guide were dismissed.

It was unclear what became of the charges against Cunningham.


Link to Post Star article.

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Re: Woman drowned Thursday during Hudson River rafting trip

Adk Jeff
More information on the incident from the Adirondack Almanack, including a link to the State Police press release.  The guide was allegedly intoxicated.  What a terrible, preventable tragedy.
Rafting guide arrested in drowning

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Re: Woman drowned Thursday during Hudson River rafting trip

ml242
It's unbelievable that crap like that can happen. You would have to be drunk to allow this to happen right? I'm not super familiar with the terrain, but the water is pretty low and slow right now there, right? What a terrible event, and I feel awful for the couple. I want to hope that these charges are unwarranted, that he was sober and that they were all wearing life jackets but losing a client..... wow, unforgivable.

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Re: Woman drowned Thursday during Hudson River rafting trip

campgottagopee
ml242 wrote
It's unbelievable that crap like that can happen. You would have to be drunk to allow this to happen right? I'm not super familiar with the terrain, but the water is pretty low and slow right now there, right? What a terrible event, and I feel awful for the couple. I want to hope that these charges are unwarranted, that he was sober and that they were all wearing life jackets but losing a closet..... wow, unforgivable.
that's what i hope too

how does crap like this happen

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Re: Woman drowned Thursday during Hudson River rafting trip

tBatt
I was gonna post about this last night, but held back.

I heard that it was a trip with one guide and two customers. The guide fell out, and then the customer (who drowned) fell out. The woman was in her 50s.

The Indian is dam released, so it's a similar flow as long as the water wasn't over the spillway. It can get really sketchy in there. Regardless, it's not THAT hard to keep everyone in the boat.

If this is the guide I'm thinking of, well, I can't say that I'm shocked that it was from his boat.

The article has been updated - woman was 53 from columbus, OH.

I think this is only the 6th death on the river since it was open for commercial rafting (circa 1985)

Terrible, terrible news. Positive thoughts for the friends and family.

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Re: Woman drowned Thursday during Hudson River rafting trip

Face4Me
I did that trip back in April. When I did my research for a rafting company, I have to say that what I found led me away from Hudson River Rafting company. There were several complaints and charges related to them in the past.

We went with another company and had a great trip.

The possibility that the guide was intoxicated is truly unbelievable.

It's easy to be against something ... It's hard to be for something!
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Re: Woman drowned Thursday during Hudson River rafting trip

Benny Profane
Holy jeebus! How is this guy still in business?? Let this be a lesson to all of you who think there should be no government regulations of small business.

Check this out:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48283-d1537890-Reviews-Hudson_River_Rafting_Company-North_Creek_Lake_George_Region_New_York.html

edit: This would make a great scene in that movie and/or Russell Banks novel I was thinking of. Let's guess who would be casted as the guide. Off the top of my head, Bill Murray, of course.

funny like a clown
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Re: Woman drowned Thursday during Hudson River rafting trip

ml242
Holy Schnikes! Those first reviews are totally insane.

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Re: Woman drowned Thursday during Hudson River rafting trip

tBatt
In reply to this post by Face4Me
Face4Me wrote
The possibility that the guide was intoxicated is truly unbelievable.
Honestly, as a guide, I don't find this hard to believe at all.

Earlier in the year, the DOT set up a check point at the put in to make sure all the outfitters were up to par with their trucks/buses/trailers. One of the smaller companies brought their trip down in a 15 passenger van with one boat, and the guide got a DWI and an open container ticket. This was at about 9:30am.

Some of the guides are HEAVY drinkers.

And, Benny, I was reading those reviews last night. One of the reviews commented on how they thought all the reviews were just from a peeved customer or two trying to mess with Cunningham. Then they booked the trip, and everything turned out to be totally true.

To be honest, the thing I was the most shocked about was that he was actually licensed. There have been MANY instances where he has gotten caught for having unlicensed guides. Again, if this is the guy I'm thinking of (and I'm 90% sure it is), I saw him getting busted by the DEC earlier in the year for not having a license.

He does have a couple really good guides. If Cunningham does get shut down from this (but, I feel like somehow he won't), I hope they're rep isn't tarnished because of who they worked for.

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Re: Woman drowned Thursday during Hudson River rafting trip

Harvey
Admin
I didn't want to post it either.

The companies listed in the NYSB rafting guide... well let's just say we didn't just pick them out of a hat. I sat down one night with veteran guides in North Creek and listened to what they had to say.  That was a year before Mary Thill's story in Adirondack Life.

From what I understand, it's not that unusual for people to get tossed from the raft. I'd like to hear tBatt's take on what the guide is taught to do when that happens.

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