Dakota Fred Hurt, a miner and star of “Gold Rush: White Water,” passes away at the age of 80.
Fred “Dakota” Hurt,
the rugged white-water gold miner who appeared on Discovery’s Alaska-set docuseries “Gold Rush: White Water,” has died. He was 80.
Hurt’s family announced his death Monday with a statement posted on his official Facebook page. He died Monday surrounded by family after battling Stage 4 brain cancer, four months after he announced his diagnosis. He had marked his 80th birthday on Sunday. For More Information….
“He fought courageously in his battle against cancer. Fred touched many lives and was loved and supported by many,” the statement said.
“If you feel inclined to donate on Fred’s behalf, please consider donating to the Mike Rowe Works Foundation in Fred’s honor. Having worked in skilled labor for the majority of his career, Fred was passionate about teaching others these valuable skills,” it added. “Please note that this is the only donation request from Fred’s family.”
The fan favorite started his gold-mining career in North Dakota, building a family legacy before co-starring in “Gold Rush: South America,” “Gold Rush: The Legend of Porcupine Creek” and the spin-off series “Gold Rush: White Water” with his son, veteran miner Dustin Hurt.
The “White Water” series,
which premiered in 2018 and is among several in the network’s gold-mining franchise, is set high in Alaska’s remote Chilkat Mountains and follows white-water gold seekers, divers and mountaineers in their pursuit of millions in gold. In Season 6, Dustin had the opportunity to buy his father’s mining equipment and run two crews simultaneously for the first time.
“Discovery was deeply saddened to learn of Fred Hurt’s passing. He was a treasured member of the Gold Rush family and we share our condolences with his family and all those who loved him,” the cable network said Thursday in a statement to The Times.
During his run as a reality star, Dakota Fred came under fire amid allegations that he stole a claim in Porcupine Creek. The Thrill of the Hunt Entertainment co-owner said he was “portrayed as the most despicable character ever” after appearing to kick miners off the claim in an infamous scene of the show.
“That totally fictional presentation created fear and devastated in my life for years,” he said in a March Facebook post. “I was besieged by hundreds of death threats, the nastiest scurrilous comments you can imagine, and destroyed my good reputation. The FBI did a two-year investigation and concluded I indeed was in danger. As evidence, 12 years later, people are still commenting how I did the Hoffman’s wrong and how I am never to be trusted.”
He said he wanted to write a book to explain the events that transpired, and he continued filming his series “to show folks that I was a serious and responsible miner, not the dastardly claim jumper falsely portrayed on TV.” The biography, he said, would also present his “interesting and adventurous life well-lived.
“I’ve lived a full 80 years of an interesting life. If I emerge from this dark diagnosis, I’ll have another adventure to share with you folks,” he said upon announcing his cancer diagnosis.