In July this year, the news of Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi’s death shocked the world. Takahashi’s body was found 1,000 feet offshore by the Japan Coast Guard, and the official cause of death was reported to be drowning.
Now, new reports have emerged stating that the 60 year old manga artist died while trying to save a few people stuck in a riptide. While the people were rescued by a US army officer, Kazuki himself got washed away with the waves.
Kazuki Takahashi Drowned while Trying to Rescue Civilians from Riptide
The US Department of Defence news service, Stars & Stripes, has revealed that Kazuki Takahashi drowned when he was trying to help an Army Major in the rescue of two civilians and an officer who were stuck in a riptide and were being pulled into the ocean.
The incident took place at Mermaid’s Grotto in Onna village in Okinawa, when Major Robert Bourgeau, an Army officer and a scuba-diving instructor, heard the cry of a woman who was asking for help to save her 11 year old daughter and a fellow US officer from a riptide. The individuals were hit by six-foot high waves, causing a whirlpool.
Bourgeau, 49, then jumped into the water to save them both. He grabbed onto the girl and started swimming back, but found that her mother was also sucked into the water. He was then able to save both of them and proceeded to rescue the fellow soldier. “I grabbed mom and I grabbed [the girl] and I just kicked for all life,” recalled Bourgeau.
The Major was, however, losing strength now, so he swam back and guided the officer to swim back to the shore. Takahashi had apparently jumped into the water to help Bourgeau, but the Major had failed to see him amid the rescue operation. He was, however, spotted by the instructor’s students, who caught a glimpse of him diving into the tide and slowly disappearing into the waves.
Eye-Witnesses Saw Kazuki Dive into the Waves
The Japan Coast Guard spokesperson has not yet commented on whether Kazuki had drowned during the same incident but a number of eye-witnesses have confirmed his presence during the rescue operation.
Major Bourgeau has been nominated for the Soldier’s Medal for rescuing three people from the riptide. He has now talked about Kazuki’s heroic act and said, “You play that ‘what if’ game a lot. This guy had a huge impact on the world. He’s a hero. He died trying to save someone else.”
Takahashi’s Body was Found on July 6
Two days after the incident, Takahashi’s body was found equipped with snorkeling gear on July 6 around 1,000 feet offshore in Awa, Nago city in Okinawa. His rental car was later found at Mermaid’s Grotto. His death was believed to be a snorkeling accident, and no foul play was reported.
Takahashi was one of the most popular creators of the manga world. He released the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga in 1996 which soon became a pop-culture phenomenon and was developed into an anime series, spin-offs, movies, and a trading card game.
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