'Gold Rush: White Water' Season 3 Episode 8 continues Dustin's luck, tensions and danger haunt Fred's camp

'Dakota' Fred's curt attitude was getting to his step-daughter Kayla. Despite fault in the machinery, Fred snapped at her. This did not help the tension between Kayla and Fred, who had been sniping at each other for some time now.


                            'Gold Rush: White Water' Season 3 Episode 8 continues Dustin's luck, tensions and danger haunt Fred's camp
Wess Richardson, Dustin Hurt, and Carlos Minor in 'Gold Rush: White Water' Season 3 (Discovery Channel)

Episode 7 of the Discovery Channel docu-series ‘Gold Rush: White Water’ Season 3 was fruitful for both ‘Dakota’ Fred Hurt and his son Dustin Hurt. Despite hitches along the way, both crews saw an abundance of gold at their respective sites. But it was Dustin who hit the motherlode.

At the bedrock under the waterfall in “Rainbow’s End”, Dustin’s crew discovered the pocket of gold they were looking for. In only one dive, they managed to extract 12 ounces of gold.

Episode 8 starts at Dustin’s claim, with crewmember Wess Richardson, Carlos Minor and James Hamm visibly excited about the sheer size of the chunks they had stumbled upon -- more gold, according to Wess, than they have found at one spot in six years of gold mining in the white waters.

But is that the most they could have found underneath the waterfall? That is the case as per Carlos, and if that was so then their bubble of excitement would soon burst. A thoroughly unconvinced Dustin decided to dive and assess for himself if it was true.

Luckily for the crew, Dustin discovered that they had barely scratched the surface. In a cursory glance, he found two large nuggets, suggesting that there was a lot more to dredge through.

The episode also turned into a teaching moment for James whose hose kept getting clogged up with huge rocks. Dustin, after some initial frustration, took the effort to make James understand what he was doing wrong. Always a team player, Dustin, unlike his father, made sure there was no bad blood between them.

And with that, James doubled his efforts, and it paid off. With both Carlos and James dredging, they quickly discovered more and more gold in the spot. 

Downstream at “Two Fish”, the septuagenarian ‘Dakota’ Fred finally decided to move up to the waterfall. With less than an ounce of gold to show for so far, he and his crew were getting desperate. And with just a month before the frost sets in at the Chilkat Mountains in Alaska, he doesn’t have much time left.

Just transporting their $16,000-worth, 700-pound-dredge upstream proved to be a task. At any point, if the dredge crashed into the jagged rocks in the water, they would have to call it quits for the season. Transporting the dredge, thus put a lot of strain on Kayla Sheets, a first-time crewmember, and the wife of Paul Richardson (and the step-daughter of ‘Dakota’ Fred). 

Their fears came true when their winch system, under the load of the dredge, came apart. Thankfully, they soon managed to fix it and they were on their way towards the promise of a big pile of gold. But tensions began to increase between Kayla and ‘Dakota’ Fred, something that has been in the air for some time. 

Meanwhile, crewmember Ryan Cardoza found a cave behind the fall, near the bottom of the water. But the sheer force of the waterfall did not allow him to inspect it for too long.

Once again, luck was proving to be a fickle dame for Fred’s crew. It was then that the old man decided to go for a dive himself, and things took a dangerous turn. His hot-water pipe and his breathing tube tangled up under the pressure of the waterfall. 

Even though he freed himself with considerable effort, he was unwilling to give up. He dived once again. But this time, there was some luck favoring him. A look into their dredge post the dive proved that they were, if not at the spot, definitely in the right direction.

‘Gold Rush: White Water’ Season 3 airs on the Discovery Channel every Friday, 10 p.m. ET.

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