We have a dramatic exclusive clip from tonight’s Gold Rush: White Water that shows Dustin Hart and Rich Webster underwater — about 12 feet below the raging McKinley creek when a calamitous event occurs.
Having your air supply run out while underwater is truly a worst-case scenario in diving. Our clip shows that the air hose for Rich is discovered to be broken while he was below the surface and the crew above frantically worked together to get him pulled up safely.
Underwater, Rich said: “You know we have got good conditions.”
Keeping him focused and speaking to him on the comms, Paul said: “I think we are getting towards the crack.”
Sounding excited during his dive, Rich said: “Now we are getting somewhere!”
The footage shows how silt and darkness surrounded the divers. Noting the depth is worrisome but exciting still, he said: “It has got to be the deepest I have personally ever dredged.”
The two divers are so close to their goal, just three feet from bedrock where gold will possibly be found in great quantity. However, calamity strikes when a hissing sound alerts the rest of the crew above the water.
They scramble and sound the alarm when they realize it is the hose tethering Rich to the surface. All hands on deck to save Rich!
Dakota Fred is off camera but you can hear him sound the alarm, “diver has no air!”
His son Dustin was up first and is part of the rescue of Rich. “He made it?” he asked about Rich.
Breathing hard and sort of shocked at the quickness that this maneuver went so wrong, Rich ended up safe and seemed relieved and grateful to be up and out of the water.
According to diving expert Douglas Bigler, the key to surviving a diving air mishap is to not panic.
Plan your dive to ensure a supply of reserve air suitable for the particular environment and situation. Make certain your dive equipment receives a thorough pre-dive inspection, post-dive cleaning and periodic professional maintenance. Be properly equipped with an alternate/redundant air supply, and follow established buddy procedures to ensure you’re never “alone” underwater. If your diving style could leave you separated from your buddy, consider a redundant air supply rather than relying on your primary air cylinder as a backup.
This season of Gold Rush: White Water followa Dakota Fred
Tune in tonight to see what that bedrock will yield once the diving issues are sorted and if they can get to that promised land under the rapid waters of McKinley Creek.
Gold Rush: White Water airs Friday at 10 pm on Discovery.