Dakota Fred Damage, miner who starred in ‘Gold Rush: White Water,’ dies at 80


Fred “Dakota” Damage, the rugged white-water gold miner who appeared on Discovery’s Alaska-set docuseries “Gold Rush: White Water,” has died. He was 80.

Damage’s household introduced his dying Monday with an announcement posted on his official Fb web page. He died Monday surrounded by household after battling Stage 4 mind most cancers, 4 months after he introduced his prognosis. He had marked his eightieth birthday on Sunday.

“He fought courageously in his battle towards most cancers. Fred touched many lives and was liked and supported by many,” the assertion stated.

“In case you really feel inclined to donate on Fred’s behalf, please contemplate donating to the Mike Rowe Works Basis in Fred’s honor. Having labored in expert labor for almost all of his profession, Fred was keen about educating others these helpful abilities,” it added. “Please notice that that is the one donation request from Fred’s household.”

The fan favourite began his gold-mining profession in North Dakota, constructing a household legacy earlier than co-starring in “Gold Rush: South America,” “Gold Rush: The Legend of Porcupine Creek” and the spin-off collection “Gold Rush: White Water” along with his son, veteran miner Dustin Damage.

The “White Water” collection, which premiered in 2018 and is amongst a number of within the community’s gold-mining franchise, is ready excessive in Alaska’s distant Chilkat Mountains and follows white-water gold seekers, divers and mountaineers of their pursuit of thousands and thousands in gold. In Season 6, Dustin had the chance to purchase his father’s mining tools and run two crews concurrently for the primary time.

“Discovery was deeply saddened to study of Fred Damage’s passing. He was a treasured member of the Gold Rush household and we share our condolences along with his household and all those that liked him,” the cable community stated Thursday in an announcement to The Occasions.

Throughout his run as a actuality star, Dakota Fred got here beneath fireplace amid allegations that he stole a declare in Porcupine Creek. The Thrill of the Hunt Leisure co-owner stated he was “portrayed as essentially the most despicable character ever” after showing to kick miners off the declare in an notorious scene of the present.

“That absolutely fictional presentation created concern and devastated in my life for years,” he stated in a March Fb submit. “I used to be besieged by lots of of dying threats, the nastiest scurrilous feedback you’ll be able to think about, and destroyed my good popularity. The FBI did a two-year investigation and concluded I certainly was in peril. As proof, 12 years later, individuals are nonetheless commenting how I did the Hoffman’s incorrect and the way I’m by no means to be trusted.”

He stated he wished to put in writing a guide to clarify the occasions that transpired, and he continued filming his collection “to indicate of us that I used to be a critical and accountable miner, not the dastardly declare jumper falsely portrayed on TV.” The biography, he stated, would additionally current his “fascinating and adventurous life well-lived.

“I’ve lived a full 80 years of an fascinating life. If I emerge from this darkish prognosis, I’ll have one other journey to share with you of us,” he stated upon asserting his most cancers prognosis.


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