(Silver Spring, Md. ) In the frontier town of Nome, Alaska, there’s a gold rush on. But you’ve never seen gold mining like this before — here, the precious metal isn’t found in the ground. It’s sitting in the most unlikely of places: the bottom of the frigid, unpredictable Bering Sea. And there are a handful of people willing to risk it all to bring it to the surface. From Thom Beers’ Original Productions, the creators of the Emmy®-winning DEADLIEST CATCH, comes the new eight-part series BERING SEA GOLD, premiering on Discovery Channel Friday, January 27 at 10PM ET/PT.
For two million years, glaciers have been melting into the Bering Sea and depositing sediments rich with gold into its waters. As Nome’s ice pack melts during the summer, the isolated, ramshackle town of eccentrics and outcasts booms with excitement, as pioneer gold seekers rush to get out onto the water. Miners dive and dredge to scour the bottom of the sea from custom built, barely seaworthy rigs — in a race to haul in as much gold as possible before the waters become too frigid to dive.
BERING SEA GOLD follows four gold dredges that range wildly in size and sophistication, but all have one thing in common: they’re run by driven and often desperate people whose very livelihoods depend on finding gold. They include the crews of:
- The Christine Rose: More than three times larger than any other craft in these waters, this 80-foot barge is run by Steve Pomrenke, the most successful gold dredger on the Nome scene, and his son Shawn, who captains the vessel. Gruff and no-nonsense, Steve drives the dredging team — and his son — hard.
- The Clark: The youngest boat in the fleet, this 20-foot diver-operated rig is captained by 24-year-old Nome native Zeke Tenhoff, who built the dredge from junkyard scrap. Zeke’s diving partner is childhood friend and greenhorn Emily Riedel, 23. Zeke’s motivation is paying off over $100,000 in hospital bills – while opera singer Emily wants to earn money to go to school in Europe.
- The Sluicey: If The Christine Rose is the show’s Goliath, The Sluicey is its David – a modified skiff that barely seats two. Owner Ian Foster’s learning curve is sharp – he quit his job as a social worker, sank his life savings into his rig, and now he’s got one shot at making his living as a gold dredger. Joining him is Scott Foster (no relation), an experienced dredger who doesn’t miss an opportunity to point out the rookie captain’s shortcomings.
- The Wild Ranger: Owned by retired military man Vernon Adkison, The Wild Ranger is captained by rookie Scott Meisterheim, whose motivation for finding gold is over $100,000 in back child support payments. As Scott says, “I’ve got bills to pay that if you don’t pay, you go to jail for.” The Wild Ranger is joined by greenhorn deckhands, including Steve Riedel, the eccentric father of Emily, from The Clark.
BERING SEA GOLD illustrates a world like none seen before — one where the danger is palpable and the stakes are high. Success in the waters will give the dredgers the hope and means to continue — and maybe even make them rich. Failure could yield a vast array of consequences — from possible jail time to injury and even death.
BERING SEA GOLD is produced for Discovery Channel by Original Productions, a Fremantle Media company. For Original Productions, executive producers are Thom Beers, Philip D. Segal, Jeff Conroy, John Gray, Sheila McCormack and Cameron Glendenning. For Discovery Channel, executive producer is David Pritikin.
About Discovery Channel
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