Gabbert’s father is “very proud” of his sons who help with Tampa water rescue

TAMPA — Parkway West graduate and Mizzou graduate Blaine Gabbert is used to high-pressure situations.

It’s a Thursday night game that’s making the rounds and has Gabbert, backup quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in the news. It’s not one he made in the field, but one in the water.

Gabbert and his brothers helped rescue four people from a helicopter crash off the Davis Islands on Thursday night. The brothers were out jet skiing when a travel helicopter carrying four people crashed into the water.

“It’s funny how time slows down in situations like this,” Gabbert said Friday. “Right time, right place I think … I vaguely remember seeing two yellow life jackets and I was like, ‘We’ve got to look at this.'”

Gabbert and his brothers rode to the crash and helped the family out of the water, including Hunter Hupp, who had spent about a minute underwater.

“I thought about my parents being soaring and what they were going to be going through for the rest of their lives, so I did my best,” Hupp said.

Gabbert and his brothers brought the family to shore while the Tampa Police Department’s Marine Patrol rescued the pilot.

Gabbert says he just did what anyone else would do in the situation.

“It was a pretty shitty situation that turned out well in the end,” Gabbert said. “I’m just glad they all made it out alive.”

And for his efforts, Gabbert can add a new title to his resume.

“There’s no reason we can’t make you an honorary member of our naval patrol, and I have a hat for you,” a Tampa officer said.

Blaine’s father, Chuck Gabbert, spoke briefly to FOX 2 on Friday and said he was “very proud” of his sons for taking action.

Chuck also tells FOX 2 that the exploits happened on day one when the family visited Blaine in Tampa, and he wasn’t surprised his sons wanted to help him. Gabbert’s father is “very proud” of his sons who help with Tampa water rescue

Sarah Y. Kim

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