What happened between Shawn Pomrenke and the Kelly Family in “Bering Sea Gold”?

April 18, 2024
7 mins read

The American reality television show “Bering Sea Gold”  is filmed in the cold and unforgiving reaches of the Bering Sea around Alaska, documenting the everyday lives and struggles of several dredge mining companies scouring the seabed in search of gold.

However, dredge mining can only be performed during the warmer season, and as such, the show is divided into two segments. During the colder winters, the miners usually live in temporary housing on the frozen waters and continue their search for paydirt beneath the sea.

Initially, the show aired under two titles, namely “Bering Sea Gold” and “Bering Sea Gold: Under The Ice”, but as of the fourth season which aired in 2015, both segments of the series aired under the now district title by which most fans would recognise the show.

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Currently running its 13th season, “Bering Sea Gold” proved to be popular among Discovery Channel’s audiences, as it continues its success since its debut in 2012.

Among the many focal points of the show, “Bering Sea Gold” provides interesting entertainment as the miners compete with the rough seas, harsh weather and cold conditions of the dangerous Bering Sea, overcoming difficulties such as poor underwater visibility, ocean-damaged equipment, and even hindered supply deliveries while out on the waters.

While the show has often been criticised for being scripted, make no mistake, the divers and miners featured on the show most certainly risk their lives. On the other hand, the potential big payouts might actually be worth all the risk and effort.


Aside from the standard occupational hazards, a large part of the show focuses on the drama between the many mining companies as they compete not only for the biggest payload but also for the rights to mine in the most valuable locations.

While the show’s numerous featured miners earned their fair share of fame, there are a few names and faces that would particularly stand out to fans of “Bering Sea Gold”. Naturally, this list includes the Kelly family, consisting of the father-son trio of Brady, Kris and Andy, as well as the show’s longest-running leading stars, the Pomrenke father-and-son duo, Steve and Shawn.

Certainly, fans and viewers have seen faces come and go on in the series, with only a handful remaining as full-time cast members, but undoubtedly, the greatest source of entertaining drama is provided by the somewhat antagonistic character of Shawn Pomrenke.


Although a constant feature in the series, and perhaps an all-time fan-favourite, most viewers can’t help but dislike the Captain of the dredging vessel “The Christine Rose”. Without a doubt, the audiences always have good reason to loathe Pomrenke, and the latest season is certainly no different.

If you are wondering what new drama unfolded on “Bering Sea Gold”, then don’t be surprised to learn that Shawn had yet again become involved in an altercation, this time with old rivals, The Kelly family.

Who Is Shawn Pomrenke?

Born on 26 March 1975, Shawn spent his early childhood in Minnesota, USA, the oldest of three children to Steve Pomrenke and Catherine Gray.

While little is known about Shawn’s earliest childhood, he once stated in an interview that he began gold mining with his dad at the age of 14, and often felt that dredge mining was his true calling in life.

In 1986, the same year his sister Nikki was born, the family moved to Nome, Alaska, where Steve accepted a job offer as a mechanic.

There, Shawn attended Beltz High School from which he later matriculated, and after several years of hard work, his father eventually bought a boat and began a full-time mining/dredging operation. Shawn would often join his father on expeditions out on the Bering Sea, and through many years of experience, he became accustomed to life on the waters.

After years of working together, Shawn eventually took control of his father’s company, Pomrenke Mining LLC, and also became co-owner of the vessel “The Christine Rose”, of which he is now Captain in a full-time position.

In 2012, when the company Original Productions began filming the series, Shawn and Steve joined the cast, and have since maintained their place in “Bering Sea Gold”.


However, after a long time at sea, Steve eventually retired, but would still make appearances in the series as he continues to keep his somewhat irresponsible son on the right path, ensuring that Shawn doesn’t wreck the family-owned business.

Aside from providing entertaining drama in the show, Shawn has had several run-ins with the law, which includes a minimum of two arrests under charges of driving under the influence (drunk). The first incident took place in 2013 when Shawn crashed into a parked car at a shopping centre. Luckily, it was only a minor fender bender, but instead of stopping and defusing the situation, Shawn simply drove off , soon pursued by law enforcement. When the police finally caught up to him, it became apparent that Shawn was heavily intoxicated.

After facing hefty charges, Shawn yet again became involved with the police when they pulled him over for a random search, and was again found driving while intoxicated. On this occasion, Shawn was also charged for not driving with a court-ordered breathalyser, and faced an hefty undisclosed fine.

Despite his off-camera shenanigans, Shaun remains one of the best miners in “Bering Sea Gold”, and even earned the title of “Mr. Gold” from his fellow reality stars, earning the title after successfully mining the most gold in the season, and to this day he still holds the record for the most gold mined, as well as digging up the biggest dredge payload yet in the series.

Altercation with the Kelly Family?

Consisting of patriarch Brady, older son Kris and younger son Andy, the Kelly family are the owners of the vessel “The Reaper”, formerly known as “The Minnow”. The Kelly trio made their first appearance in the show during the third season in 2014, initially working on “The Minnow” as divers under the captaincy of Steve Riedel. However, mid-way through the third season, Steve sold his ship to Brad Kelly, who has since continued to captain it.

After their debut, the Kelly family quickly became renowned, both for their success at mining, and  unfortunately also for the rather broken family dynamic between the father and sons.

Notoriously well-known by fans and viewers for getting into petty arguments, which often lead to physical altercations between them, the Kelly family earned a reputation as a rowdy bunch. Nonetheless, they continue to make appearances in the show, as the producers no doubt love and exploit all the drama onboard “The Reaper”.


While most of the conflict and drama surrounding the Kellys remain in the family, some of their altercations have spilled over into rivalries with fellow stars in “Bering Sea Gold”, which also led to a couple of physical altercations.

While many fans have been intrigued by the Kelly family’s past misconduct, the most recent altercation involving the trio and Shawn Pomrenke had viewers buzzing with excited talk. As intriguing as the drama might be for some, not everyone walked away for the better. The tension between Pomrenke and the Kellys reached a fever point, and got so far out of hand that the local authorities had to step in.

The altercation in question took place during the filming of the 15th season, sometime late in 2022, though the exact date seems to be a complete mystery. Instead of intervening to stop the fight, the producers and camera crew looked on, and of course, milked the drama for all it was worth.

The incident started after Andy Kelly approached Shawn at a pier on the docks of Nome, Alaska, apparently to confront Pomrenke about illegal mining on prohibited grounds.

However, things didn’t quite go according to plan, as Shawn almost immediately resorted to chasing Andy away, but the latter did not heed Shawn’s warnings. Initially, Shawn threatened to call the local police, but Andy insisted on getting up close with Shawn. In response, Shawn placed Andy in a choke hold, and the two eventually began exchanging blows. Andy ended up with a busted and bloody mouth, but still wouldn’t back down.

Moments after the brawl started, Andy’s brother Kris arrived on the scene, but instead of trying to stop the fight, chose to support his brother and egged Andy on to push Shawn into the water. Needless to say, the altercation got out of control, and just as things seemed to become a bit more civilised, Shawn and the Kelly brothers began arguing about who started the fight, the Kellys accusing Shawn.


In response, Shawn flared up again in anger, and the brawl continued for a bit longer. In the end, the Kelly brothers retreated away from the scene and appeared to be calling emergency services, seemingly wanting to be the first to report the incident.

As of yet, no report on any charges against either Andy or Shawn can be found, so for now fans are on the edge of their seats, hoping to find out whether or not the Kelly brothers and Pomrenke can bury the hatchet and settle their differences. To see what happens next, fans and anyone interested can catch the 15th season of “Bering Sea Gold”, and watch as the drama unfolds.

However, if, like many others, you might be wondering where the Kelly patriarch, Brady, might have been when the brawl went down, you should know that he had previously been charged with domestic violence, and would certainly not want to become involved.


Brady was previously accused of assaulting an unknown woman, with whom he had a child. According to certain reports, Brady hit the woman over the head while she was sleeping, resulting in her sustaining severe injuries. Fortunately she survived, but Brady told police that she accidentally hit her head against a table.

Regardless of his account, Brady was arrested and prosecuted on second-degree assault charges; he accepted a plea bargain, and received a sentence of four years imprisonment, however, if he maintains good behaviour, he could reduce his sentence to eight months.

The exact date of the incident remains a mystery, though Brady has been reportedly in custody as of 11 February 2022, and no reports of his release have been made public yet. As such, it might be safe to assume that Brady will be serving the full length of his sentence.

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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