Why did Jesse Goins from “Gold Rush” die aged 60?

April 18, 2024
8 mins read

There’s no denying “Gold Rush” is one of the most successful Discovery shows of the last decade. With over 10 years on air and having amassed huge international fame, it’s not surprising to find that many spin-off “Gold Rush” series have been released, to the point it’s hard to keep up with them.

That being said, “Dave Turin’s Lost Mine” is undoubtedly one of the most successful follow-up shows from the franchise given its different concept, variety of locations and memorable cast. However, the show was significantly marked by the unfortunate death of the miner Jesse Goins during the third season, surprising both fans and co-stars alike.

So what did happen to him? What is the cause behind his death and what did it mean to the rest of the cast? Keep with us to know more about this memorable late “Gold Rush” cast member!


What Happened To Jesse Goins?

Despite it being a job made for the toughest, people have come to know “Gold Rush” more for showcasing a fair share of on-set drama rather than tragedies. That’s why Jesse Goins’ passing in mid-2020 took the show’s fans by surprise.

As it happens, Jesse had been working for Dave Turin since his show “Lost Mine” premiered in 2019. Although his appearances in the first season were brief, Jesse’s trustworthy nature and decades-long mining experience gained him the spot of Gold Room operator, making him key in making Dave’s mission of recovering abandoned mines a reality.

For the next two seasons, Jesse became a definite fan favorite, given his likeable, kind personality. However, all of that came to an abrupt end when he was found unconscious outside the operation’s gold room, from where he was supposedly coming from. The show’s paramedic immediately administered CPR to him as emergency medical technicians arrived at the scene.


Regardless of their efforts, it was unfortunately already too late. On 18 August 2020, Jesse was declared dead in a Colorado’s hospital from a heart attack at 60-years-old. However, it’s unknown if he had been suffering from any illnesses prior to his passing.

What His Co-stars Had To Say

Just as soon as news of Jesse Goins’ death spread, dozens of messages of condolence were sent to his family, both through social media and on his online obituary.

As well, his “Gold Rush” co-stars were quick to honor the late miner, such as the case of Dave Turin team’s heavy equipment mechanic Nathan Clark, who in a heartfelt Instagram post described Jesse as ‘the kindest soul you could ever have met’, not forgetting to emphasize how important he was for the crew: ‘I’m truly lost for words right now. We lost the man that I trusted with my future, and my kid’s future’.


Dave Turin was also clearly affected by the loss of Jesse, especially given that he was the one who found him unconscious after his cardiac arrest: ‘(I) worked hard to bring him back to our world. God had another plan, and someday I will see him again in Heaven’.

Due to Jesse’s family having difficulty paying for his funeral costs, an online co-funding campaign was set up, collecting over $5,000 thanks to the support of “Gold Rush” fans.

What Shows Was He In?

Knowing how popular Jesse Goins became thanks to “Dave Turin’s Lost Mine”, it’s somewhat assumed that he appeared in many other shows of the franchise. However, that’s not exactly true.

Following Jesse becoming a regular in “Lost Mine” following his debut on TV in 2019, he appeared in a couple of episodes of “The Dirt”, which is famous for showing all behind the scenes, bloopers and exclusive interviews of “Gold Rush’s” main cast.

Image source

Given that Dave Turin couldn’t be left out of this show due to the success of his own series, he brought Jesse to appear in the 2020 episodes “Fence Gate” and “Gold Whisperer”, in which they shared screen with other widely known miners such as Parker Schnabel and Tyler Mahoney.

In total, Jesse Goins appeared in 29 episodes of “Lost Mine”, starting with “Montana Motherlode” in the first season through “Good Man Down”, which showed Jesse driving a mining truck for the first time, a special opportunity he had been waiting a long time for. The episode recalled in detail the tragedy of his death, finishing it with a sad ‘in memoriam’ note in his honor, in addition to a brief special dedicated to him in the season’s finale.

Who Else in the Show Died?

While Jesse Goins is the only “Gold Rush” miner who has died on the show’s set, other former cast members have unfortunately passed away.


Earle Foster

The first “Gold Rush” star we lost was Earle Foster in 2013. Though he was only credited in a couple of episodes, his presence in the show in early seasons was quite important, given that he owned one of the Porcupine Creek mines that the cast worked in.

As his online obituary reads, Earle was native to Claremore, Oklahoma and served in World War II. Following his return to the US, Earle married and welcomed three children, eventually establishing his family in Anchorage, Alaska.

Despite dedicating his life to improving the communication systems in Alaska, in addition to establishing a couple of fishing businesses in the area, Earle’s career as a gemologist led him to explore and mine gold in the lower 48, eventually buying several mines for his personal use. Regardless of his brief appearances in “Gold Rush”, Earle gained fame locally, and was apparently overjoyed when recognized by the show’s viewers.

After a long life exploring Alaskan lands for gold, Earle Foster died on 23 April 2013 from cardiac amyloidosis at 86 years of age.

James Harness

If you have been watching “Gold Rush” from the start, then the name James Harness surely rings a bell in your mind. Working as a mechanic for Todd Hoffman’s mining operation, James secured a place in the show for the first two seasons, though his appearances were shadowed by a couple of unfortunate incidents.

As many loyal fans might remember, James often suffered from constant back pain, which effected his job activities. This condition was caused by a severe car accident he’d had a couple of years prior, leaving him not only with chronic pain but also making it difficult to find a job. As James told Oregon Gold in 2012, he wasn’t in a good place before being invited to appear in the show by Todd, for whom he had previously worked: ‘Because they knew I was down and out, they offered it to me, and I didn’t have a lot of other choices’.

Thanks to the show, James was given free surgery to alleviate his pain thanks to the show, but his pain wasn’t diminished by it. He apparently became addicted to medications, and took long absences from his job, which was the reason he was let go by Todd. Sadly, James’ life came to an abrupt end after he suffered a stroke in July 2014, putting a sad end to this unfortunate story.

John Schnabel

Any good “Gold Rush” fan knows the Schnabel family is a strong one when it comes to mining. Although the most famous of the family is the digger prodigy Parker Schnabel, his biggest inspiration to continue his gold fever mission was his grandfather John, who unfortunately passed away in 2016.

Despite his inspirational influence, John’s life story is similar to that of most guys in the industry. From an early age he had several small jobs, which provided just enough to support his family’s basic needs, but his life was meant to change for the better at some point.


After completely establishing himself in Alaska in his early 20s, and soon welcoming five kids with his wife Erma, John found himself invested in gold to the point where he bought his first mine in his 40s, though he didn’t explore the place until 1985.

With several decades in the business, John basically put his land in his grandson Parker’s hands later in life, along with passing on his vast knowledge. However, John went through several health complications too, first suffering heart attack in 2011 and then being diagnosed with cancer a year later. Although he recovered from both, on 18 March 2016 John unfortunately died in his sleep at 96 years of age.

What Is “Dave Turin’s Lost Mine”?

The name Dave Turin is very familiar to everyone who has been watching “Gold Rush” long enough.

After debuting in the show in its first season, the so-called Dozer Dave didn’t become a regular cast member until the second season, when his work in Todd Hoffman’s operation became hard to ignore.

Unfortunately, Dave’s presence in “Gold Rush” came to an end in 2017, after getting involved in a fight with his former crewmate Trey Poulson. Although he left Hoffman’s team and the show altogether, his career in the mining business hadn’t ended yet. The fame he gained in the show served him well while getting other jobs in the field, being called from all over the US by people who wanted him to revive their mines.

That’s how the “Gold Rush” spin-off “Dave Turin’s Lost Mine” came to life in 2019. Mainly focused on Dave’s efforts to dig gold from several areas around the country with his new crew, it’s evident his show’s concept is vastly different from the original one’s, which fits Dave’s nature well as he admits himself: ‘I’ve always been the guy that always gets back up, gets back in the fight, puts his boots on, and goes to work’.

Image source

“Lost Mine”s success has been so vast that three seasons have aired so far, in addition to gaining its formerly unknown cast the audience’s approval.

What Other Spin Offs Have Been Released?

Unsurprisingly, “Gold Rush”s success has given the network a green light to produce several spin-offs from it. One of the most successful is definitely “The Dirt”, in which the show’s cast discusses important events which have occurred while filming, or at the end of a season.

Then we have “The Jungle” in which some of the main show’s popular miners such as Parker Schnabel and Todd Hoffman are seen taking their crews on risky and uncertain mining trips in several South American countries.

Unlike the former shows, some “Gold Rush” follow-up series are centered on only one mining crew of the main show, such as the case of “Parker’s Trail”, which has let us see Parker Schnabel’s and Rick Ness’ exploration efforts in old mines in and outside North America.


Meanwhile, for five seasons “White Water” has followed Dustin and Fred Hurt as father and son dredge the Alaskan waters, searching for gold.

In 2020 the veteran miner Freddy Dodge got his own show “Mine Rescue”, followed by Todd Hoffman and his “Hoffman Family Gold” show, premiered in early 2022, making it obvious that this influx of “Gold Rush” spin-offs still have lots of potential to explore.

Was “Dave Turin’s Lost Mine” Cancelled?

Losing a cast member is always a hard hit for any TV show. Given that, it wouldn’t have been surprising if the loss of Jesse Goins meant the end of “Dave Turin’s Lost Mine”.

However, much to the joy of Dave’s fans, his show is not over yet. Although Discovery is yet to announce the official return of “Lost Mine”, a quick look at the many Facebook posts Dave has shared with his show’s hashtag in early 2022, it’s apparent he’s filming the following season.


As if that wasn’t enough, in March that year the mining specialized site BuildWitt stated that the show was ‘about to begin airing its 4th season’ after interviewing Dave.

While it’s almost a fact that “Lost Mine” is still on the game, it’s worth mentioning that Dave’s business is thriving, even when he’s not on air. As seen on his official website, Dave has not only direct sponsorship from big brands related to the mining industry, but also established his entertainment company Dozer Dave Productions, in addition to setting up an online shop, which sells original designs inspired by his show.

All in all, business and life in general is looking better than ever for Dave.

Martha Clifford

As an Author at Net Worth Post, I guide a dedicated team in the art of revealing the stories behind the world's most influential personalities. Fueled by a relentless curiosity and a knack for uncovering hidden stories, I immerse myself in the intricacies of our subjects' lives, weaving together accurate data and compelling narratives. My involvement spans the entire editorial process, from the seed of research to the final flourish of publication, ensuring that every article not only educates but also captivates and motivates our audience.

At Net Worth Post, we are committed to providing thorough investigations into the net worth and life achievements of innovators across diverse sectors such as technology, culture, and social entrepreneurship. My method merges meticulous research with eloquent storytelling, designed to bridge the gap between our readers and the remarkable individuals who redefine our tomorrow. Through spotlighting their journeys to success, the hurdles they've surmounted, and their contributions to society, we aim to give our readers a deep and inspiring insight into the luminaries who are paving the way for progress and ingenuity in the modern era.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss