Shawn Pomerenke and his father are regulars on Discovery Channel’s “Bering Sea Gold”, better known as “Gold Divers” in the UK. Essentially the channel’s favorite location to film, Shawn and his father own a dredge named Christine Rose. They spend their time at sea digging for gold on the seafloor. While his father is well known for his strong ethical and moral compass, Shawn does not quite follow in his father’s footsteps. Pomerenke has been involved in two well-publicized incidents, one that caused him grievous bodily harm, and the second that saw him arrested on multiple charges.
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There is much speculation regarding the star, as he keeps much of his life secret, and there are conflicts in information about his family life.
Early Life and Family
Shawn Pomerenke was born on 26 March 1975, in Alaska USA. His father, Steve Pomerenke had worked hard to reach Alaska, born and raised on a dairy farm in Minnesota, he had to make his own way to Alaska to fulfill his dreams of gold diving. The passion that had brought him to the cold Bering Sea was soon inherited by his son. Shawn started to go gold-digging with his father when he was as young as 12 years old; after that, he knew exactly what he intended to do with his life, and committed himself to assist his father in building an empire.
Shawn Pomerenke attended Nome Beltz High School in Alaska, but by that time he already knew what he wanted from life. After matriculating, Shawn went straight into business with his father on Christine Rose, deeming any tertiary education as unnecessary.
Despite his dreams of glory, Steve Pomerenke mostly met with disappointment when he finally began gold mining in the US, achieving a marginal amount of success, but nothing that measured up to his hopes. After Shawn went gold diving with him at the age of 12, he had a partner who was just as passionate about the venture as he was. Together they got the Christine Rose up and running, and their success only grew from there.
The two now own multiple companies and hundreds of acres of land; they have an inland mine on Anvil Mountain, and their profits from this in conjunction with those from the Christine Rose have finally realized their dreams, and allow them to live in extreme comfort. In 2016, Steve and Shawn partnered with J Keith Byer to establish Pomerenke Mining LLC, consisting of what was once Northwest Gold Diggers LLC and Blue Water Gold LLC. Shawn Pomerenke is officially the company’s Senior Vice President Operations, while his father is CEO.
After the roaring success of Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush”, the producers realized the almost magnetic effect that gold had on viewers, and they set out to replicate that success.
The show premiered on 27 January 2012, and went through various iterations of the title within the first few seasons, eventually settling on “Bering Sea Gold” and “Gold Divers” in the UK. The show saw huge increases in tourism to Nome, Alaska where it is filmed, not always welcomed by locals and gold miners in the area who even attempted to sue Discovery Channel.
Discovery Channel is famous, or notorious for finding colorful cast members. Of course, on “Bering Sea Gold” they had aspiring opera singer, Emily Reidel, who captains her own dredge, but when it comes to Shawn Pomerenke, they themselves struck gold. Shawn is extremely driven and determined when it comes to his craft.
While his hunches do not always play out, he never gives up and has his eye fixed on success. Despite being a highly controversial character with his legal and personal history, he remains a favorite with the show’s fans. He is happy to interact with them, take photos, and is generally extremely affable.
In true Discovery Channel style, the show has spawned multiple spin-offs that Shawn has appeared in. He appeared in “Bering Sea Gold: Back to the Dredge”, a movie about the show, and also featured in “Bering Sea Gold: After the Dredge” both in 2012, “Bering Sea Gold: Under the Ice” from 2012 until 2014, and made a guest appearance in “Gold Rush: The Dirt” in 2020.
Pomerenke has proven to be a savvy businessman with an eye for planning and strategy. Shawn himself has never watched the show, citing that he is not concerned with how the other dredges are doing, and is confident in his own abilities.
Shawn maintains a good relationship with his father, but that is where the clarity ends. While Shawn persistently tells the public that he is unmarried and not in any relationship, there is a lot of speculation. Most believe that he was married to a former long-term girlfriend for a time, but is now separated or single. What we do know is that Shawn has two children, purportedly with a woman simply identified as Jenny, and a grandchild.
His son, Dylan Pomerenke, has appeared on “Bering Sea Gold” multiple times, and his daughter and grandchild are a regular feature on his Facebook page.
Pomerenke Meets the Law
While Shawn is accused of having multiple outstanding invoices, this cannot be confirmed. What is known without a doubt are a couple of other encounters with the law. In 2012, Shawn Pomerenke was frequenting a bar when he got into a fight with another patron. Words turned to blows and a knife was drawn. Shawn was quite literally stabbed in the back and had to spend time in hospital recovering from the effects of the altercation.
In 2013, Pomerenke was involved in a much more chilling event.
While the following is enough to change the minds of people about the affable character, most remain undeterred. Shawn was reversing out of a parking space when he hit a shopper carrying their groceries – unfazed, Shawn is alleged to have given the shopper a smile and thumbs up before driving off. When the authorities eventually caught up to Pomerenke, they breathalyzed him which showed that his alcohol level was almost twice the legal level at .125. Shawn was hit with a DUI and three other charges – driving without insurance, failure to return to the scene of the accident, and 3rd degree assault of a citizen. The result of the charges has not been disclosed, but he didn’t serve any jail time for the event.
While his personality may be far removed from his father’s, the two have some similar features.
Shawn has pale brown hair that errs on the side of blonde that can clearly be seen in his beard. He has bright blue eyes, and is well built. His teeth were a point of contention in his life, and Shawn even wore braces for a time as an adult. Pomerenke is 5ft 6ins (1.67m) tall and weighs 175lbs (79kgs).
Net Worth and Salary
What began as an unproductive venture is now a booming gold empire. In addition to his payment for his appearance on “Bering Sea Gold”, Shawn received a substantial income from the various companies that he and his father own, not to mention the gold they extract. Shawn’s net worth has reached an impressive $6 million, as of mid-2020.