Gold Rush: White Water exclusive — James gets pounded in his first dive attempt for Dustin Hurt

James on Dustin's crew is about to get pounded underwater, and possible need a rescue. Pic credit: Discovery.
James on Dustin’s crew is about to get pounded underwater, and possibly need a rescue. Pic credit: Discovery

Have you ever ventured into the “pound zone?”

On Friday night’s Gold Rush: White Water, we lead with Dustin Hurt explaining diving engagement protocols. He is working in the extremes of Alaska’s wild white waters of McKinley and Porcupine creeks in our exciting exclusive clip.

If you remember from our exclusive interview with his dad Dakota Fred Hurt, the two men who previously worked together are now operating two separate teams. They are also in different areas between Porcupine and Two Fish, where Fred is focusing.

Fred told us he and Dustin just do not work well together, and that was the reasoning behind the Season 3 split.

But Dustin opens our clip by offering his observations on the work of the day.

He says: “You can never tell until you put somebody under pressure what they’re gonna do. [It’s] not about taking orders… it’s about doing what you’re supposed to without being told.”

He approaches James, a new crew member, and is giving him a pep talk before James will descend into a pounding waterfall and rapidly churning white water area of the creek.

There is no gradual descent — it’s a straight jump in with deep walls made of jagged rocks combined with ferocious water coming at him from above… and if not gauged correctly it can cause him to be in a life-threatening situation.

Dustin says to James: “All right you’re ready!  If you get nervous just don’t panic it’s very important. The guys up here cannot help you if you flip out.”

He adds: “We’re going to be strategic about this. Where they start in on the edges and come in… don’t let the pound zone get you, at some point, we’ll be deep enough to where you can go right underneath that pound zone.”

The narrator illuminates the scenario and says that the force of the pound zone water can forcibly knock out a diver and pin them under, or tear away, their airline.

Dustin’s plan is to get under the pound zone to dig inwards from the sides of the plunge pool. Once he’s below it, he can suction dredge down to the piles of gold nuggets he thinks are spread among the bedrock.

But it’s now “go” time for James and Carlos Minor is observing the traction and talking to him through his earpiece, and it’s not looking good.

The nozzle handle is snagged on James’ harness and it appears he’s completely trapped under the dreaded pound zone.

Tune in to see if Carlos, an expert diver and veteran, has to suit up for an emergency rescue on this white knuckle episode.

What is Gold Rush: White Water?

The spin-off of Discovery’s number one show, Gold Rush, is now in its third season.  The show stars “Dakota” Fred and his son, Dustin Hurt, who, as we mentioned, have split up to try their luck at two separate mining sites.

Dustin has picked an area that is a deep gorge and unforgiving narrow wedge that has no room for maneuvering a suction dredge. The team must navigate roaring rapids after rappelling down steep gorge walls.

The two were previously on Gold Rush but left the series.

Now, they are mining Two Fish, Porcupine, and McKinley Creek in Haines, Alaska. They use suction dredges and normally find larger pieces of gold than the Gold Rush miners, who wind up with more gold flakes.

Gold Rush: White Water airs Friday at 10 p.m. on Discovery.

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