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

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

Gabbert and his brothers helped save four people from a helicopter crash off of the Davis Islands on Thursday evening. The brothers were out jetskiing when a tour helicopter with four people crashed in the water.

“It’s funny how time slows down in those situations,” Gabbert said Friday. “Right time, right place I guess … I vaguely remember seeing two yellow life jackets, and I was like, ‘We got to go check this out.’”

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 floating on top and what they were going to go through for the rest of their lives, and so I did my best,” said Hupp.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chuck also tells FOX 2 the heroics happened on the first day that family visited Blaine in Tampa and he’s not surprised his sons wanted to offer a helping hand.


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