Kazuki Takahashi was seen getting in and out of the current until he was completely pulled away
AWA, TOKUSHIMA: Legendary Japanese manga artist Kazuki Takahashi, who died on July 4th, is being hailed as a hero after reportedly sacrificing his own life attempting to kill a US soldier, an 11-year-old girl and rescuing her mother from a current at a dive site in Japan. On July 6, a Navy official first sighted a body floating in the water, which was later identified as Takahashi the following day. He was pronounced dead after emergency services arrived at the scene. At the time of his death he was 60 years old.
According to the Stars and Stripes military newspaper, Major Robert Bourgeau, 49, said that when Takahashi drowned, he was trying to help rescue those caught in the flood. His body was recovered 300 meters from the shore of Awa, Nago. “You play this ‘what if’ game a lot,” Bourgeau said, adding of Takahashi, “This guy had a huge impact on the world.” Bourgeau was serving as a diving instructor at Mermaid Grotto around 2 p.m. local time on July 4.
Bourgeau recalled witnessing a woman screaming for help as her daughter and a 39-year-old soldier were engulfed in a strong current. When the two meter high waves hit them, they were about 100 meters from shore at that time. He teamed up with one of his student divers to reach out to snorkelers while another student called for help.
Although Bourgeau managed to save the girl and drag her closer to shore, he said he was quickly exhausted. On the way he met her mother, who had meanwhile also been dragged into the dangerous waters. “I grabbed and grabbed mom [the girl] and I just kicked my life,” he said.
He also added that he didn’t notice Takahashi jumping into the water, but one of his students did and told him that he saw Takahashi coming in and out of the current until he was completely pulled away. “He’s a hero,” Bourgeau said. “He died trying to save someone else,” Bourgeau said, adding that he was able to save the mother and her child, but he was unable to save the soldier’s life, which left him completely devastated later left destroyed. “That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, I’ll admit [the man] go so I can save myself,” he wrote in testimony the Army gave the publication.
“I didn’t think I would make it,” he said. Bourgeau added that he thought of his children during the incident. According to reports from NBC News, the Coast Guard said the manga artist was traveling alone and was found with snorkeling gear, and also reported that there was “damage to his body that appeared to have been caused by some type of sea creature “.
Known by his real name Kazuko, Kazuki Takahashi gained worldwide fame and popularity for his famous manga series about a prickly boy named Yugi and his magical gaming powers. Yu-Gi-Oh! became a global sensation in terms of anime programming and was later released as video games and trading cards as well.