‘Gold Rush’ Star Dustin Hurt Talks Brutal ‘Small War’ With Mother Nature

by Amy Myers
gold-rush-star-dustin-hurt-talks-brutal-small-war-mother-nature

Gold Rush star Dustin Hurt might make gold dredging in a white water river look easy, but he’ll be the first one to tell you it’s anything but. After years of learning how to best maneuver through rapids and jagged rocks, the gold expert still feels like every day on the water, he’s facing another battle.

“Everything out there’s basically trying to take us down,” Hurt told Looper. “It feels almost like a small war. I have a crew and Mother Nature has its crew, and we just battle.”

While his crew is full of top-notch professionals that have been in the industry for decades, Mother Nature has hypothermia-causing waters, drowning undertows and fatal rockslides on her side. And most of the time, it’s a pretty even match.

Of course, there are times when an unforeseen obstacle gives the Gold Rush stars’ natural opponent the edge. However, most of the time, because Hurt and his team value safety above all else, they make it out unscathed – well, for the most part.

Part of this preparation is wearing the proper gear for diving and operating underwater. The other part is constantly being aware of one’s surroundings. A crew member can easily ignore a few falling pebbles while putting the dredge into place, but this small movement can actually be a huge warning sign of a coming rockslide. Similarly, a fault in the diver’s oxygen or hot water lines can be a symptom of a much bigger issue. If the Gold Rush crew doesn’t take the time to shut down the dredge and review the situation, it could cause deathly mistakes.

‘Gold Rush’ Crew Members Risk Own Safety to Secure Dredge

Mother Nature isn’t much kinder to the Gold Rush crew’s equipment. Time and again, Hurt has witnessed how the raging waters and rough terrain can absolutely demolish his pricey yet vital machinery. Even recently, Hurt found himself struggling to keep both his crew and equipment safe at the same time.

While trying to secure the dredge into its rightful place on McKinley Creek, a current catches the sluice box and begins to drag the huge piece of equipment underwater. In order to fix the situation, the Gold Rush team had to spin the dredge to face the opposite direction, thus freeing the sluice box from the downstream movement.

But to do so, the crew members would have to step into the rapids themselves to maneuver the machine.

After watching Carlos and Eric struggle with the dredge for too long, Gold Rush boss Hurt decided to step up to the plate instead. But before Hurt could even dip his toes in the raging water, a rockslide erupted behind him, showing just how unpredictable the environment around him was.

Outsider.com