The Highs and Lows of Emily Riedel’s Life on the Bering Sea

March 22, 2024
4 mins read

Emily Riedel is an American reality television personality, probably best known for her appearance on the Discovery Channel’s hit show “Bering Sea Gold“. She was originally planning to become an opera singer, but turned to gold mining in Alaska in 2012. Emily has been a part of the show since its premiere, and is the only female captain in the fleet. Being the only woman in the business, she had to fight to establish her position in the male dominated field. Despite the initial struggles, her commitment to gold mining has earned her the respect of other captains, while her resourcefulness has made her a very successful miner.

Early life of Emily Riedel

Emily Riedel was born in Homer, Alaska in 1988. As a third generation Alaskan, she was aware of the gold dredging operations, but never dreamt of that becoming her career – instead, she dreamt of becoming an opera singer. While Emily was in high school, her family moved to North Carolina from Alaska, where her mother suggested she should enroll at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Despite singing for most of her life, the academic aspect of music still caused anxiety in her. However, she persevered and four years after enrolling she graduated from UNCSA. She says that her time at college was very formative, as it taught her discipline which is applicable to every aspect of life. However, this is where her plans of becoming an opera singer came to a standstill, as she lacked the funds to pursue a master’s degree.


How Emily Riedel became a gold miner

Emily first got involved in gold mining through her friend, Zeke Tenhoff, who suggested she could make a lot of money gold dredging in the Bering Sea. She followed Zeke’s suggestion and went to Nome to work on his suction dredge, called “The Clark”. At first, working as a deckhand on a gold mining dredge was only supposed to be a way for Emily to finance a master’s degree in opera abroad. However, it didn’t take long for her to blend into the gold mining world of Alaska, and eventually become captain of her own dredging vessel, “The Erotica”, pursuing her newfound passion.

Emily says that this turn of events is “crazy to think about”, as she was only 21 years old when she made the decision to move to Alaska. What kept her there, she claims, was the awareness that she was doing something difficult, and she wanted to succeed. Seeing many others fail in what she was attempting did not discourage her, but gave her motivation instead, which powered her through 12-year highs and lows in the harsh Alaskan climate.

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Emily’s hardships as a gold miner

Gold mining in Nome is not to be taken lightly, as there are many dangers to keep an eye on. Probably the most challenging of all is the Alaskan weather itself, with temperatures falling as low as 20 to 30 bellow zero. Out on the sea in these conditions makes hypothermia a very serious risk, especially considering that the crew often has to dive in search of gold. Diving is especially dangerous in the winter months, when the Bearing Sea freezes over. On these occasions, Emily and her crew have to dive down under three to four feet of ice to get to the seabed, which can be a very claustrophobic experience, and Emily has nearly lost a colleague under the ice. Still, she is able to overcome her anxiety and dive down to find gold.


Apart from the freezing temperatures, Emily also has to worry about sudden Alaskan storms, as well as waves large enough to sink her vessel. So far, Emily was able to avoid the worst of these potential disasters, and keep her boat safely afloat. However, her vessel did suffer smaller accidents at sea, such as a large squall which nearly sank her boat. In the cold Bering Sea waters, your boat sinking could spell death in a matter of minutes.

On the other hand, there is the wildlife that needs to be taken into consideration. Probably the most notable wildlife encounter Emily had was with a pack of orcas. She and her crew were mining for gold and had a diver in the water, when suddenly a pack of orcas appeared around her vessel. It was a very scary situation for her crew, but nobody was harmed in the end. Emily goes on to say that the benefit of her job in Nome are exactly these interesting stories, however perilous they are.

Emily’s success on the Bering Sea

Emily’s success as a gold miner on the Bering Sea has been impressive, especially considering the challenges she has faced as the only female captain on the show.

Since joining the show in 2012, Emily has proven herself to be a skilled and determined captain, leading her crew to success on many occasions. Her ability to navigate the treacherous waters of the Bering Sea, manage her crew, and overcome obstacles has been an inspiration to viewers.


In addition to her success in finding gold, Emily has also been a pioneer in using innovative techniques and equipment to extract gold from the ocean floor. She’s experimented with different types of dredging machines and has used cutting-edge technology to locate gold deposits that others have missed.

Her success as a gold miner on the Bering Sea is a testament to her skills, determination and hard work. Her accomplishments on the show have inspired viewers and have helped to break down barriers for women in the mining industry. She was frequently approached by other captains saying that she is an inspiration for their daughter. Emily’s story is a reminder that with passion, perseverance, and a willingness to take risks, anyone can achieve success in their chosen field.

Emily’s personal life and net worth

Emily is married to Alex Trokey, whom she met in 2020. The couple became engaged in January of 2021 and married four months later. In 2022 they had a daughter they named Evie. On her Instagram page, Emily often shares her family’s daily adventures which usually involve hiking in the Alaskan wilderness.

As of 2023, Emily Riedel’s net worth has been estimated at around $3 million. Her wealth is mostly attributed to her appearances in the show “Bering Sea Gold” as well as her success as a gold miner.

Olivia Wilson

As the Freelance Writer at Net Worth Post, I steer producing riveting stories about the lives and triumphs of influencers. With an unwavering commitment to precision and a flair for weaving compelling tales, I guide our content creation, from the depths of research to the pinnacle of narrative excellence. My responsibilities encompass the full spectrum of editorial management, including the meticulous investigation, narrative development, and upholding the integrity and high standard of our output.

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