Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Blaine Gabbert used a jet ski to rescue helicopter occupants after the helicopter crashed into the water on Thursday.
He and his two brothers, Tyler and Brett, were jet skiing in Hillsborough Bay, Florida, when he heard “a faint noise,” he said.
“We turned around … and I remember looking to the west. It looked like the crew’s boat had broken into about four pieces in the water, and two I vaguely remember it looking like a yellow life jacket,” said Gabert.
Upon arriving at the scene, Gabbert said he realized it was an underwater helicopter and expected the “worst case scenario.”
Tampa Police said the pilot heard a loud noise and lost power while the helicopter was on its way back to Peter O. Knight Airport.
About 300 feet from the airport beach, the pilot made an emergency landing in the waters near the Davis Islands Yacht Club, and all passengers fell into the sea.
“They looked distressed,” Gabbert said at a press conference, recalling that the entire family was visibly shaken and covered in oil from the crashed landing.
“Then I called 911 and tried to stay as calm as possible…I was in the right place and at the right time. , credit is given.
“It was pretty noticeable. I was two on a jet ski, my brother was one, and the pilot was still in the water. Then you guys showed up.”
Footage captured by the Tampa Police Department, which arrived at the scene shortly after Gabbert and his brother, shows a jet ski circling the crash site and a helicopter pilot on a police boat.
Gabbert and his brother piloted jet skis back to the beach safely, and after joining Thursday’s rescue, he was made an honorary member of the Tampa Police Department’s Marine Patrol.
Leave a Comment