Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert has apparently been enjoying warm, sunny life in Florida since he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019. But late last week, a fun day jet skiing with his two brothers in Hillsborough Bay in Tampa turned into an emergency rescue situation when a helicopter crashed nearby, ABC7 reported.
Luckily, although four people were ejected from the chopper, all survived.
On Thursday, the Gabbert brothers were reportedly cruising around the other “bay area” on jet skis when they heard some noises nearby. The Tampa Police Department said in a statement that that was the helicopter pilot and three passengers, who were on a sightseeing tour when they heard a loud bang and the helicopter lost power.
Bucs backup QB Blaine Gabbert and his brothers helped rescue 4 people after a helicopter crashed Thursday in Tampa Bay— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 30, 2022
Gabbert says they helped bring the crash victims to safety on their jet skis 🙏
According to FOX59, one of the survivors, Hunter Hupp, said, “I was in the front. I asked the pilot if we just hit something. He goes, ‘No, but this isn’t really good.'”
According to ABC7, the Gabberts sped to the scene and found a sinking helicopter and multiple people, including children, in the water. They reportedly called 9-1-1, and Blaine Gabbert managed to get two of those away from the wreckage and out of the water onto his jet ski, while his brothers and the quick-moving authorities rescued the third and fourth.
"The youngest kid had just come 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 described in a press conference.
The police said that Gabbert had managed to stay calm during the rescue — which is no easy feat — and made Gabbert an honorary member of their marine unit on Friday.
"It's funny how time kind of slows down in those situations," Gabbert added. "I just wanted to get them dry and warm as quickly as possible."
Image of Blaine Gabbert playing for San Francisco 49ers in 2016 via Getty Images/Jonathan Daniel.