Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert became a hero off the field Thursday when he helped rescue victims of a helicopter crash.
Gabbert was jet skiing in Hillsborough Bay with his brothers Brett and Tyler when he heard “a faint noise” nearby.
At a press conference, he said, “It looked like a crewed boat that had broken into four pieces in the water,” adding that life jackets were also visible.
“We raced over there,” he said, realizing it wasn’t the crew’s boat. It was the wreckage of a helicopter, with the pilot and three passengers on board, crashing into the bay.
Gabbert called 911 and successfully rescued two of the victims on a jet ski, but one of his brothers helped a third victim as a first responder saved the pilot.
“Helicopters sink very quickly,” passenger Hunter Happ, who was flying with his parents, told Fox Sports. “We learned that pretty quickly.”
He believes his mother was one of the pair rescued by the quarterback.
“My mom said she wanted to meet Tom Brady while we were here,” he said, referring to the famous Bucks starting quarterback. increase.”
According to ESPN, Gabbert received a text message from Bucks general manager Jason Licht within about 45 minutes of the rescue, and the news quickly spread.
“I honestly wanted to remain anonymous,” he told the network, noting that credit for the rescue goes to first responders. I thought, I’m not a man to be in the spotlight.
Tampa Bay Police Officer Dan Spears told CBS News that when first responders arrived, Gabbert and his brother “were actually almost done with the rescue.”
The department made Gabbert an honorary member of its Marine Corps.