U.S. Army Reveals ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Creator Kazuki Takahashi Died Trying To Help Drowning Swimmers
Details surrounding the death of Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuki Takahashi (60) were scant at the time of reporting, but we now know that he was attempting to aid in the rescue efforts of three snorkelers who had been caught in a rip current on July 4.
When Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Takahashi’s body was found by the Coast Guard on July 6, the details made it look like a snorkeling accident. Thanks to newly released first-person reports shared by the U.S. Army, it’s now clear that Takahashi was attempting to aid in rescue efforts initiated by U.S. Major Robert Bourgeau, deputy operations officer for the 10th Support Group at Torii Station in Yomitan.
The Coast Guard has not confirmed Takahashi’s involvement in rescue efforts, but several sworn witness statements from others who were there at the time have been released by the Army and corroborate the story of Takahashi’s selfless efforts that day at Mermaid’s Grotto in Onna, Okinawa.
According to the documents, conditions in the water were rough on July 4 when a mother, her 11-year-old daughter, and a U.S. soldier were spotted trapped in a rip current about 100 yards from the shore. Bourgeau and one of his students quickly made their way out to the snorkelers and began to pull them in towards more shallow water, nearly getting pulled into the tumult themselves.
During the rescue, Takahashi swam out to try and help. U.S. military students nearby witnessed the man enter the water and caught glimpses of him swimming in the swirling current before he disappeared under the waves and didn’t come back up.
“He’s a hero,” Bourgeau said of Takahashi. “He died trying to save someone else.”
Takahashi’s body was found two days later wearing a snorkel mask and fins about 1,000 feet offshore in Awa, Nago city.
The news was first reported by the U.S. military’s daily newspaper Stars and Stripes.