Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert assisted in a water rescue after a helicopter crash near the Florida city.

Gabbert and his brothers were riding jet skis nearby when they saw a helicopter with four passengers make an emergency water landing near the Davis Islands.

Tampa police said that the chopper had been on an aerial tour and was returning to Peter O. Knight Airport when it lost power, forcing the pilot to attempt a water landing.

No one was injured in the crash, although one passenger, 28-year-old Hunter Rapp, said that he was trapped underwater for nearly a minute.

"I vaguely remember seeing two yellow life jackets, so I was like, 'We've got to go check this out,'" Gabbert recalled to reporters Friday.

"They looked like they were in duress; we raced over there.

"The youngest kid had just come up and said he was pinned in there, and I asked if anyone else was trapped. Then I called 9-1-1 and tried to remain as calm as possible, but it all turned positive."

Gabbert credited the first responders on the scene for the rescue and their quick response.

"I was just in the right place, right time, I guess," Gabbert said.

"I got two on my jet ski and my brothers got one. The pilot was still in the water, and that's when [Tampa police] pulled up, and I dragged him a little towards the boat.

"It was a pretty crappy situation that turned good in the end."

Gabbert was drafted in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and is in his 12th professional season, his third backing up Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. 

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said he would still be leading the team if Tom Brady did not decide to come out of retirement.

Not long after Tampa Bay’s playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Brady retired and the Buccaneers were left without a proven quarterback on their roster.

Less than six weeks later, the seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback opted to return and two weeks later, Arians announced that he would be stepping down as head coach and moving into a role in the Bucs' front office, with Todd Bowles becoming the new head coach.

The new Senior Football Consultant explained he was unwilling to leave Bowles with uncertainty at the quarterback position, with Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask on the roster.

"I was going the other way. I was thinking he wasn’t going to play," Arians said. "I was thinking about who are we going to get? Who wants to trade? There wasn’t anybody in the draft.

"That was obvious. Me, to the public, I was fine with the two we had: Blaine and Kyle. Because I’ve seen Blaine win with a good team behind him. Had Tom not come back, I probably would still be coaching. I couldn’t give Todd that situation.”

Because of the timing, rumours circulated that a rift existed between Brady and Arians, but Arians stuck to his line that he had already been thinking about quitting and did not want to leave Bowles with an unsettled quarterback situation.

Arians, who turns 70 in October, also said that he was “upset” with the hiring cycle and expected both Bowles and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich to get head coaching jobs. He also admitted that the upcoming season would have been his last anyway.

“I had a bunch of people lined up to take their jobs,” Arians said. “When they were both here and Tom came back, I thought it was the perfect time.”

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