It turns out that The Curse of Oak Island’s life-long treasure hunter, Dave Blankenship, has finally decided to step down from the dig.
If you have been watching The Curse of Oak Island since the show premiered in 2014, it may be difficult to associate this mysterious island with anyone other than the brothers Marty and Rick Lagina.
But in reality, there is one family that has an even richer history with this remote island – the Blankenships.
Longtime The Curse of Oak Island fans will know that veteran treasure hunter, Dan Blankenship, and his son, Dave Blankenship, spent decades trying to excavate this island, before Marty, Rick and the film crews showed up.
And although Dan passed away in 2019, Dave had no plans of letting this family legacy slip away and continued to be an integral member of the Lagina’s treasure-hunting team. That is, of course, until the show’s eighth season premiered.
The real reason why Dave Blankenship left the show
Although Dave was listed as a returning cast member for season eight of The Curse of Oak Island, he failed to make an actual appearance on the screen during this season, and he has not been featured on the series ever since.
Of course, like any other The Curse of Oak Island mystery, Dave’s mysterious disappearance had fans speculating as to what was happening with the show behind the scenes.
However, while the rumors that the straight-shooting Dave had decided to leave the show after feeling like the production had disrespected his father’s memory were certainly compelling, Dave ultimately revealed that the real reason for his departure from the series is much less sinister.
Dave was actually featured in his very own episode of The Curse of Oak Island companion series, Drilling Down (season 8, episode 3), and in this episode, this life-long treasure hunter disclosed that he had simply decided to retire after all these years.
Dave’s Oak Island history
Dan has always been a fan-favorite member of the so-called ‘Fellowship of The Dig,’ but his history with Oak Island stretches back to the mid-60s, as follows:
|1965||Dan and Dave make their first trip to Oak Island|
|1966||Dave decides to join his father on the island|
|1969||Dave moves to the island on a more full-time basis after his divorce|
|1986||Dan’s accident happens|
|2013||The Curse of Oak Island starts filming|
If you have ever tuned in to watch one of the earlier episodes of The Curse of Oak Island, you may have noticed that Dave walks with a slight limp and never uses his left arm for heavy-lifting.
This is because he suffered a severe stroke after he was involved in a job-site accident in 1986, where he was launched 46 feet by a snapped cable.
Dave’s doctors told his wife and his parents that he would be completely paralyzed for the rest of his life, but after Dan insisted that no one share that news with Dave, he started walking again six weeks later.
Of course, Dave has still not fully recovered from this injury, but pretty much everyone on The Curse of Oak Island team agrees that this has never held him back during a project.
What Dave is doing now
Dave revealed in his Drilling Down episode that though he no longer has an active role on The Curse of Oak Island or the day-to-day treasure-hunting activities on the island, he has not cut ties with Rick, Marty and the rest of The Curse of Oak Island team.
According to Dave, he still stops by the active sites on the island from time to time and he will still get his fair share of the “spendables” if the team does unearth something exciting now.
Dave’s hopes for the future The Curse of Oak Island
If you have been following along with The Curse of Oak Island’s excavations, dogs and projects over the years, you may already know that Dave has a special soft spot for what the team now affectionately refers to as the 10-X tunnel.
Dave and his father, Dan, began exploring this tunnel back in 1969 and actually ended up re-constructing most of the tunnel after a close-call with a collapse at the beginning of the project.
So it is no wonder that even after all this time, Dave still believes that the answers to most of Oak Island’s baffling mysteries (and of course, its buried treasures) are hidden in this tunnel.
Dave told Drilling Down’s host, Matty Blake, that he still believes that finishing 10-X should be high on the Lagina’s priority list for the future.