Season 6 of History Channel’s The Curse of Oak Island concluded last night, and viewers may be wondering what the future holds for the show and the treasure-hunting team led by Rick and Marty Lagina. Will there be a Season 7 for fans to look forward to?
A huge hint about what may take place in a potential Season 7 was dropped in last week’s Drilling Down episode. Host Matty Blake talked to team members Gary Drayton and Tony Sampson, and both indicated that they are already working on a water-based strategy to be used when the show returns.
According to Gary, he and Tony have an exciting plan to take the 223-year old Oak Island treasure hunt to a whole new level. “A water-based strategy will lead us to the next big find on land,” claimed Gary, promising that they will be, “taking it up a notch.”
“Every year there’s beach erosion,” he explains, and to this end he and Tony have looked into using an ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) to discover where human activity has taken place underwater, particularly old wharf sites.
They are hoping to uncover signs of human activity just offshore, areas where cargo was loaded and unloaded, especially any treasure. Fans of the show know that the waters around Oak Island are notoriously murky, and don’t give up secrets easily.
In order to get around this barrier, they plan to drop an observation class ROV unit into the ocean in order to better investigate offshore locations. Unlike a human diver, the unit can stay underwater for hours, and is equipped with five lights as well as grippers.
An above-water computer operator directs the gadget, watching its movements on screen. The goal is to spot items that may have been part of a wharf, any debris fields, and possible artifacts.
But it’s not just man-made objects that the team is searching for, they also hope to identify anomalies such as beach areas that have been diverted.
“This technology is a whole new world of search underwater,” notes Gary.
And the technology could not be in better hands. Gary has been dubbed a “metal-detecting ninja” and is one of Rick and Marty’s most valuable secret weapons.
Although he now resides in south Florida, he grew up in rural Lincolnshire, England, where he honed his detecting skills searching riverbanks brimming with 2,000 years of history. There he learned to perfect his sight reading skills. As Gary says, “anyone can swing a metal detector,” but years of pounding the river banks taught him precisely what conditions yield what type of treasure. “I used to think metal detecting was cheating!” he laughs.
For his part, Tony brings world-class diving skills to the new water-based strategy, complementing Gary’s land based skills. He spent years serving in the Royal New Zealand Navy, and has made dives all over the world, registering some incredible finds of his own.
He describes the experience of diving in the shadowy waters off of Oak Island as, “diving by Braille…working by feel,” and notes that eyesight is not much help in such opaque liquid.
Despite the inherent underground obstacles, Tony has made two outstanding discoveries as a part of the search team. Four years ago he found a major clue in the swamp, when he discovered a huge oak tree stump. Later, along with Jack Begley, Tony discovered what appeared to be ship’s plank, dating back to the 1600s.
Will Gary and Tony have the opportunity to deploy their promising water-based strategy in a season 7 of The Curse of Oak Island? Stay tuned!
The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c.