Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert was among the bystanders who helped rescue four people after their helicopter crashed about 200 yards from shore and was “submerged in water,” according to a report.
Tampa Police responded to reports of a “helicopter submerged in that water” near the Peter O. Knight Airport on Thursday evening, according to a news release.
Once on the scene, law enforcement located the aircraft “approximately 200 yards from shore” with four people on board.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, police said “the pilot reportedly heard a loud noise, followed by the loss of power.”
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“No one was found to be injured and all four occupants of the helicopter safely reached shore,” police said in a tweet, adding that the investigation into the crash was ongoing.
However, according to FOX Sports’ Greg Auman, Bucs’ backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert was one of the first to respond to the scene on a jet ski.
“They slowly brought us back to the shore, a sandy beach near the yacht club, and hung out for a while, were really nice,” Hunter Hupp, one of the survivors, told FOX Sports. “We exchanged pleasantries upon reaching flat ground.”
“They were really an asset to helping us out, because we were the only ones out there for a while,” he continued. “It was a handshake and a hug and ‘Thank you so much.’ They went out for a nice afternoon ride and just happened to come upon a stranded helicopter family.”
Hupp, 28, also told the Tampa Bay Times that he was stuck under seat belts and cords as the helicopter was submerged underwater, leaving him trapped for around a minute before he was able to finally escape and join his parents and the pilot who managed to reach the surface.
Gabbert, 33, is in his 12th NFL season and has served as a backup to Tom Brady since joining the Bucs in March 2019.
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