• George Young is a fan favorite in the TV show "Bering Sea Gold"
• He is in a wheelchair due to a car accident in 2001
• He still dives and is part of the team that extracts gold from the Bering Sea
• He owes his brother money for helping him set up his mining operation
• He is still part of the show and filming for the 15th season began in June 2022
Gold mining is one of the most challenging and competitive businesses out there, but it gets even more complicated when the gold is underwater, and in one of the most dangerous places in the world. That’s the case of Discovery’s “Bering Sea Gold”, which season after season has given us a deep insight into Alaska’s dredging and gold-digging industry, and all the drama going on between those involved in it.
Nonetheless, while the relationships between miners and the competitiveness proper of the business are the main attraction points of the show, what actually keeps us loyally tuning in to “Bering Sea Gold” are the personal and inspiring stories of its cast, especially in the case of fan favorites such as George Young.
So who is George? What is going on with his health, and why is he in a wheelchair? What does George do when he’s not extracting gold from the Bering Sea? Stay here to learn all the answers!
I wish I had another picture of Gold to show you, but I haven’t done another clean out yet so I will just have to post a picture of one of the many salmon I have caught on bad weather days👍
Posted by Bering Sea Gold George Young on Sunday, August 19, 2018
What Happened To George?
One of the most common questions regarding George Young is about his health, and in particular the reasons why he’s in a wheelchair nowadays.
As explained in his debut aired in the eighth season, George was severely injured during a car accident that happened in 2001. Not much is known about the situation surrounding the incident, whether he’s the only one injured in it, only that it resulted in his paraplegic condition.
Though most of the time George uses his wheelchair for his everyday life activities, he sometimes gets out of it to board his ship or dive, as viewers of “Bering Sea Gold” have seen many times since his debut in the show in 2016. All in all, it’s very unfortunate that George has been going through many difficult moments in his life, but he hasn’t let those hardships stop him.
Is George A Diver?
Given his physical disability, it might come as a surprise to see George Young diving in some “Bering Sea Gold” episodes. Nonetheless, he’s fearless when it comes to mining, even regardless of what his family has to say about it.
As seen in one of his early appearances in “Bering Sea Gold”, George’s brother Dave Young was quite apprehensive about him going underwater, and doing what he thought was necessary to get the gold: ‘He tells me ‘you don’t need to dive, that’s why there are divers, let them dive’. And that’s just not me, I’m gonna dive.’ He said in front of cameras.
While George’s diving escapades are of big help for his mining operation, he isn’t the only one in the team who can go underwater to save the day, as he affirmed during a 2017 interview with TV Megasite: ‘I had two divers on this season to help make this whole thing happen, but four divers all together, only two divers on the boat at one time’ George said, referring to the eighth season which had just wrapped-up at the time.
All in all, George has had a good team all along, but he’s certainly not afraid of getting his feet wet so-to-speak, to make his dream come true.
How Much Money Does He Owe His Brother?
As said during George Young’s earliest appearances in the show, the fact he made it to the Bering Sea with a boat ready to fund gold underwater is mostly because of his brother Dave, who also appears in the show. As it happens, the latter was doing so well in the mining business that he lent George enough money to set up his operation, though that also meant that every ounce of gold dug by George was passed over to Dave to pay off his debt.
While that might seem a good deal for a once-rookie Captain such as George, it also meant that his mining efforts were fruitless money-wise for a long while: ‘There is no money! It’s all gone. The plan was to buy the Gold Dredge from my brother, and that takes more than one season to achieve’, as George told TV Megasite after the eighth season wrapped-up in 2017.
That being said, it is unknown how much exactly George did owe his brother, but nowadays he’s still mining from his All About Nuggets boat, just as he did in the old times.
While it isn’t rare to see reality stars having lots of experience in their field before being cast in a TV show, it was a different story for George Young. As he admitted in an interview with The Tim Laskis Show on YouTube, around 2013 he grew interested in underwater gold mining thanks to “Bering Sea Gold”.
With high hopes of finding gold and making it big, George’s brother Dave joined a friend who had set up a mining operation in the Bering Sea, but needed some extra help after running out of money. They had a good time mining for one season, promptly encouraging George to join them as well.
Nonetheless, life had different things prepared for both brothers. As George was still in the process of learning about mining, and had his first experiences at diving and dredging gold, Dave was doing better on the business side: ‘he went big, he got in with a few investors and they bought a barge’, George explained in the podcast.
From then on, Dave’s operation expanded, and eventually allowed him to lend the money which started George’s mining adventures as well.
Advice To Beginners
As someone who discovered mining in the Bering Sea through a TV show, it’s quite normal that George Young learned a thing or two about the business only after getting into it himself.
As he affirmed in an interview with the podcast The Tim Laskis Show, a good way of starting in mining is by contacting someone who has experience in it and either hiring them or boarding their boat. Nonetheless, when such a thing is not possible, there’s nothing better than to risk it all for a dream just as he did: ‘your first year, you’re gonna learn a lot, you’re gonna go home broke and hopefully, you learned enough for your second year’, he said.
That being said, underwater mining is a challenging and unique experience in itself, which usually requires more than just a strong will: ‘It’s a very difficult thing to do, not only physically, but mentally. I don’t believe it’s for everybody, but it’s an awesome adventure if you’re up for it’. George said in an interview with TV Megasite in 2017.
All in all, there seem to be lots of aspects to take into consideration before giving it a try to mining, but that doesn’t make it an impossible goal.
How Does George Keep Himself Safe?
Underwater mining is not a joke, especially when it takes place in an isolated and special place such as Alaska. That being said, there are lots of aspects to consider to keep oneself safe in that environment, and George Young is deeply aware of that.
As he affirmed in an interview with TV Megasite, the first and foremost thing to be aware of while digging gold in the Bering Sea is the weather and knowing when it’s the right time to get underwater or just leave the job for another day to avoid accidents or even disasters. Such a warning doesn’t come as a surprise for loyal viewers of “Bering Sea Gold”, as not only George but the entire cast are always cautious about roaming the seas where there are signs of storms ahead.
Having the equipment in top-notch condition is also essential to get the job done, though he also insists that ‘knowing the surroundings’ is especially important for divers, who should be careful from getting their breathing line wrapped around objects, or such as the dredging hose and anchors. That being said, divers in “Bering Sea Gold” don’t use dry suits to go underwater, so having a wetsuit to keep themselves warm while swimming in Alaska’s extremely cold seawater is a very important part of the job.
Debut On TV
Before “Bering Sea Gold”, George Young was a stranger to the TV industry. It was around the time in 2013 when he first gave a try to underwater mining, that he came into contact with a talent scout who looked for miners to appear in the show, though it took him several years to finally convince them to give him a chance to appear in the show, as he said in an interview with The Tim Laskis Show on YouTube.
Despite all the hardships his job inherently involved, the experience of appearing on TV was very welcome to George, and definitely worth the wait as ‘it exceeded’ his expectations. As George also admitted in the podcast, not only was he amazed by the special attention the production put into every detail while creating the show, but also wasn’t afraid of doing what it takes to be in it, something he realized after filming one scene several times at a cameraman’s request: ‘he’s like ‘you signed up for this’, that’s when it kicked in, I realized I did sign up for this. If you want us to pull that anchor and throw it again, we will do it’.
All in all, George is quite committed to mining but also to being a TV star.
What Does He Do When He’s Not Mining?
Mining is an important part of George’s life, but it’s not the only thing he loves. As seen on his social media, George is an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, often taking advantage of bad weather days in Alaska to indulge in his hobbies on the sea instead of working.
George is quite good at snow sports – as he said in an interview with TV Megasite in 2017, he belongs to an Aspen-based ski team as a sit-racer, on top of also enjoying snowmobiling a lot: ‘I am in the mountains. I am just all over the place, truthfully. I am just an adrenaline junkie, as much as possible. I just love adventure’, he said.
All in all, George loves being outdoors, and just enjoying life to the fullest.
What Happened To George’s Brother?
When George Young debuted in “Bering Sea Gold”, he didn’t do it all alone. By his side was always his brother Dave, who initially lent him the money to pursue his mining goals.
As George struggled to pay off his debts, Dave was expanding his mining operations and doing business with other well-known miners. Such was the case of Ken Kerr, who owned the dredge boat known as Myrtle Irene, and is a long-time “Bering Sea Gold” cast member.
However, in recent times things haven’t been going well for Kerr, as in 2019 a lawsuit was filed against him and his company Arctic Sea Mining LLC over an accident which involved three minor girls whose car was hit by a steel cable attached to the Myrtle Irene. As read in the lawsuit, the teens were asking for $100,000 in damages, as they were apparently severely injured during the accident.
Although it’s unclear what happened to the case, Ken eventually was left out of “Bering Sea Gold”, but Dave is not only still in the show, but is apparently still involved with Arctic Sea Mining.
If you’re not willing to risk it all for the gold, it might be time to get off the boat. 💰
A new season of #BeringSeaGold premieres Tuesday, December 6 at 8p ET on @Discovery. pic.twitter.com/DbHL9JF01g
— Bering Sea Gold (@BeringSeaGold) November 11, 2022
Is George Still In The Show?
If there’s something we have learned about recent “Bering Sea Gold” seasons, it’s that George Young is there to stay. After several years in the show, George passed from being a rookie miner who appeared from time to time on screen, to becoming a fan favorite who has a more-than-safe spot in the cast for the time being.
To prove this, George is part of the “Bering Sea Gold” 15th season premiering in December 2022. The news of his participation in the show was announced by himself through his Facebook page, which also let us see that filming for the season had begun in June of that year.
Besides the joy of seeing George back again on screen, fans of the show were grateful to know new episodes were premiering at the time, as no announcement about “Bering Sea Gold” renewal had been made since the 14th season wrapped up in late 2021.
However, how far will George and the other miners go this time to reach their gold-extracting goals? That’s yet to be discovered.