Historical facts on rafting

If I may add some historical notes to your recent articles on commercial rafting.

Pat Cunningham’s involvement with rafting on the Hudson goes back to the 1950s with trips organized by the Northwoods Club in Minerva. It is hard to say, though, if these were commercial trips or that he was the first commercial outfitter in New York.

People both canoed and rafted the Hudson Gorge regularly during the thirty years between the end of logging and the beginning of commercial rafting as an industry. Others who ran the Hudson Gorge during this period include Senator Robert Kennedy on May 6, 1967; John Monthony in the early 1970s; Tim Record with American River Outfitters in 1975; and Ken Powley of Whitewater Challengers in 1975.

The Hudson River Professional Outfitters Association was formed in April 1981 in an effort to organize and establish a level of professionalism for the new and growing raft industry on the Hudson.
Finally there have been four fatalities on the Hudson from commercial rafting prior to 2012, not three as has been commonly reported. The first was in April-May 1990, the second in April 1993, the third in April 1994, and the fourth in June 1996.

Jeff Dickinson, Indian Lake

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