Buccaneers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert turned an surprising hero Thursday when a helicopter crashed into Hillsborough Bay in Tampa.
At a information convention Friday, Gabbert stated that he and his two brothers had been cruising close by on jet skis, trying out from afar among the sail boats at a yacht membership, after they heard a “faint noise” south of Davis Island and rushed towards it.
“I just remember looking to the West and seeing it almost looked like a crew boat in the water that had broken up in about four pieces, and I vaguely remember seeing like two yellow life jackets, so I was like, ‘All right we gotta go check this out,'” Gabbert stated, with native authorities standing behind him like proud mother and father.
The brothers arrived on the crash to discover a sinking helicopter and a number of people in want of saving.
“The youngest kid had just came up and said he was pinned in there and I asked if anyone else was trapped and then I called 911, tried to remain as calm as possible,” Gabbert stated.
He was in a position to get two of the people out of the water and onto his jet ski, whereas his brothers helped a 3rd individual. A fourth occupant was helped out of the water by authorities, who Gabbert stated arrived in file time.
(*4*) the people on the helicopter as 28-year-old Hunter Hupp, his mother and father Wes and Lisa, and the pilot.
“Let me tell you, helicopters sink really fast,” Hupp advised the community Friday morning. “We learned that rather quickly.”
The pilot and three passengers had been on a helicopter tour of the realm after they heard a loud bang and the helicopter lost energy, the Tampa Police Department said in a statement, whereas posting video of the rescue mission on social media.
The pilot made an emergency touchdown into the water.
Tampa Bay police Officer Dan Spears stated Gabbert and his brothers “had actually just about completed the rescue” when he arrived.
“It was a pretty impressive feat, no doubt,” Spears stated. “They were very calm — great job on that … One of the most dangerous circumstances on an aircraft is a water landing just due to the inversion of a helicopter, and trying to escape that, and not get trapped in, so it was a very amazing circumstance that everybody got out.”
Gabbert stated he raced his jet ski to shore, the place the hearth division met them.
“I was like, just please hold on tight,” he stated he advised his two riders. “We’ll get to the beach quick and get you dried off, get you a coffee and warmed up.”
Tampa Bay police made Gabbert an honorary member of their marine unit on Friday.
“It’s funny how time kind of slows down in those situations,” Gabbert stated. “I just wanted to get them dry and warm as quickly as possible.”
Bucs coach Todd Bowles thought the rescue was “outstanding.”
“Any time you can find a guy to drop everything and go help somebody else that that he doesn’t even know without even thinking about it, and take their life into their own hands and helping somebody else save their lives, that says a lot about the guy,” he stated. “And Blaine did that.”
Gabbert, the No. 10 total choose within the 2011 NFL Draft, has performed for the Buccaneers since 2019 and at the moment serves because the backup to Tom Brady.