Dive for Pearls in DIXIE DIVERS on Discovery Channel, 9/28
Benton County is one of the most remote areas in Tennessee, but it is home to the country's richest supply of coveted mother of pearl. Natural pearls are highly sought after rare gems, and they can reel in big money. Divers used to make thousands of dollars from these waters, but many of them moved on to other careers when the economy fell on hard times. Today, only 36 dedicated divers are left. This comical group remains fiercely competitive; their livelihood depends on how many pounds of shells they can extract from the water and sell to the shell shack. But they dream of striking it reach by finding a rare pearl inside one of the shells - a 'Big Bertha' - the jackpot of all pearls that could be worth more than $2000. The special, airing on Discovery Channel on Saturday, September 28 at 10pm ET/PT, will put viewers right in The Middle of Benton County's modern pearl divers and their daily shenanigans.
The pearl divers work long days that require them to lug huge bags of mussels out of the water. Each diver has a boat tender who watches over the boat and sorts mussels while the diver searches for shells. Chuck, Jeremy and Bart all use their family or close friends to help them. Chuck and his son Colton constantly bicker as they work. Tempers flare as Colton runs late for work every day and takes advantage of his father's empty threats. Jeremy accepts his wife's advice and hires a friend's daughter as his boat tender, but this young fashion merchandising student has never been on a boat before. Bart decides to work with close friend Mike, affectionately nicknamed "Skull." Skull is Bart's best friend who insists on ordering him around and playing practical jokes. JD rounds out the group by working alone and refusing to sell mussel shells to the camps for such low prices. Instead, JD lets his mussels decay throughout the year, ensuring that he will find every possible pearl.
Working from Benton County, these divers risk their lives each and every day. It's a competitive, high-risk, high-reward business and these guys wouldn't dream of doing anything else. They work to ensure enough money to get them through the week and they dive with the hope that they will finally find the one large pearl that could change everything. On Saturday, September 28 at 10pm ET/PT, Discovery Channel invites viewers to step into the world of the divers who compete against the elements and each other in order to pry mussels from the bottom of Kentucky Lake.