Buccaneers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert helps rescue family from Tampa Bay after helicopter crash

Hunter Hupp, parents, pilot survive crash off Davis Islands in Tampa
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Blaine Gabbert, Tampa Bay helicopter crash rescue
Posted at 11:23 AM, Dec 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-30 11:24:36-05

TAMPA, Fla. — The backup quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers helped rescue vacationers on a sightseeing tour after the helicopter they were in crashed into the bay Thursday, trapping them inside the submerged chopper, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Blaine Gabbert, who is the No. 2 quarterback behind Tom Brady, was among the first help after the helicopter carrying four people crashed into Tampa Bay near Peter O. Knight Airport, just off Davis Islands, according to the newspaper.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup QB Blaine Gabbert before game vs. Baltimore Ravens, Oct. 27, 2022
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Blaine Gabbert is seen before a game against the Baltimore Ravens, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. The Ravens defeated the Buccaneers 27-22.

Tampa police Lt. Daniel College said the helicopter had an engine failure near the conclusion of the sightseeing tour, which was a Christmas gift for Hunter Hupp, 28, and his parents.

Gabbert just happened to be riding his personal watercraft at the time and helped Hupp, his 62-year-old father and 59-year-old mother, who were visiting from Philadelphia, the newspaper reported.

A Tampa police marine unit helped save the 33-year-old pilot, NBC affiliate WFLA reported.

All four survived unscathed.

Hupp told WFLA they were "trapped under so much stuff," like cables, wires and headsets, when the helicopter hit the water.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup QB Blaine Gabbert talks to starter Tom Brady during game at Arizona Cardinals, Dec. 25, 2022
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Blaine Gabbert and Tom Brady talk during the second half of a game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz.

Gabbert, 33, is a 12-year NFL veteran who was a former first-round draft pick with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has spent the past four seasons as a backup with the Buccaneers.

Hupp told Fox Sports he had no idea one of his rescuers was Gabbert.

"My mom said she was hoping to meet Tom Brady while we were down here," he said. "I think she came pretty darn close."