NFC South Reporter
Floating in open water after the helicopter he and his dad and mom had taken a tour on made an emergency touchdown into the water off Davis Islands on Thursday night, Hunter Hupp had no thought who the three males have been who rapidly approached on two jet skis as he treaded water.
Hupp, 28, had spent the earlier hour on a flight out to the seashores and again as a Christmas reward, however he and the helicopter’s different passengers heard a loud noise within the rotor above and needed to land within the water, about 200 yards from shore.
“Let me inform you, helicopters sink actually quick,” Hupp mentioned Friday morning, grateful to get up to a different morning along with his dad and mom. “We realized that quite rapidly.”
Hupp’s dad and mom, Wes and Lisa, made it out of the helicopter because it took on water, as had the pilot, however Hupp was the final one out, unable to free himself for a few minute earlier than getting out and to the floor. The 4 of them floated collectively, solely inches of the helicopter displaying above the water, considering whether or not to attend for assist or attempt to swim to land whereas absolutely clothed, then nearly instantly noticed two males on jet skis approaching.
Considered one of them, as confirmed by a supply near the crew, was Tampa Bay Bucs backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who lives on Davis Island and was a part of the rescue effort. Hupp mentioned they helped his father up on one jet ski and he and his mom on the opposite, stayed with them and coordinated carry again extra individuals than the jet skis have been meant to hold.
“They slowly introduced us again to the shore, a sandy seashore close to the yacht membership, and frolicked for some time, have been very nice,” Hupp mentioned. “We exchanged pleasantries upon reaching flat floor. They have been actually an asset to serving to us out, as a result of we have been the one ones on the market for some time. It was a handshake and an enormous and ‘Thanks a lot.’ They went out for a pleasant afternoon experience and simply occurred to return upon a stranded helicopter household.”
Tampa Police arrived in a ship inside 5 minutes, he mentioned, however having the 2 jet skis there rapidly saved them from having an excessive amount of time alone within the water, not sure how lengthy they may keep afloat.
“We take into consideration all of the what-ifs,” mentioned Hupp, who lives in Philadelphia and works in gross sales. “What occurred clearly wasn’t nice, however we managed fairly properly for what occurred.”
Gabbert, 33, is in his twelfth NFL season and fourth with the Bucs, although he hasn’t performed a snap this season as the highest backup to Tom Brady. The Bucs have been busy making ready this week for Sunday’s recreation in opposition to Carolina, the place a win can clinch a second straight division title for Tampa Bay, however that wasn’t all he did Thursday.
Hupp mentioned he had no thought one among his rescuers was an NFL quarterback, as they hadn’t exchanged greater than first names, however informed an outline of Gabbert, he mentioned “I believe that was the one my mother was clinging to.”
“My mother mentioned she hoped to fulfill Tom Brady whereas we have been down right here,” he mentioned. “I believe she got here fairly darn shut.”
Tampa Police mentioned a helicopter needed to make an emergency touchdown simply after 5 p.m. Thursday as a consequence of an engine failure because it approached Peter O. Knight Airport, on the southern finish of Davis Islands, in Hillsborough Bay, the northeast tip of Tampa Bay. The preliminary report from police was solely that each one 4 aboard had survived and businesses have been working to take away the submerged helicopter from the water.
Gabbert has a house on Davis Islands, a neighborhood the place a number of Tampa Bay professional athletes, even Brady, have referred to as house.
High tales from FOX Sports activities:
Greg Auman is FOX Sports activities’ NFC South reporter, overlaying the Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints. He’s in his tenth season overlaying the Bucs and the NFL full-time, having hung out on the Tampa Bay Instances and The Athletic. You’ll be able to observe him on Twitter at @gregauman.
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Publish date: 2022-12-30 19:55:04
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