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What happened to Kazuki Takahashi? Legendary manga artist died a hero saving three lives

Kazuki Takahashi was spotted coming in and out of the current until he was completely pulled away
Takahashi was the creator of the popular anime series Yu Gi Oh! (YouTube/Bartenderchan)
Takahashi was the creator of the popular anime series Yu Gi Oh! (YouTube/Bartenderchan)

AWA, TOKUSHIMA: Legendary Japanese manga artist, Kazuki Takahashi who died on July 4 is being hailed as a hero after he reportedly sacrificed his own life while trying to rescue a US soldier, an 11-year-old girl and her mother from a current at a dive spot in Japan. On July 6, a marine official first saw a body floating in the water which was later identified to be of Takahashi on the following day. He was declared dead after the responders arrived on the scene. He was 60 years old at the time of his death. 

According to the military newspaper, Stars and Stripes, Major Robert Bourgeau, 49, told that when Takahashi drowned, he tried to help to rescue those who were caught in the riptide. His body was recovered 1,000 feet away from the shore of Awa, Nago. "You play that 'what if' game a lot," Bourgeau told, adding of Takahashi, "This guy had a huge impact on the world." Bourgeau was serving as a scuba diving instructor at Mermaid's Grotto around 2 pm local time on July 4. 


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Bourgeau recalled witnessing a woman crying for help as her daughter and a 39-year-old soldier was being engulfed by a heavy current. When the six-foot waves hit them, they were roughly 100 yards from shore at the time. He teamed up with one of his scuba diving students to reach snorkelers while another student called for help. 

Although Bourgeau managed to rescue the girl and pulled her closer to the shore, he said he quickly became exhausted. He came across her mother along the way, who by that time had also been pulled into the dangerous waters. "I grabbed mom and I grabbed [the girl] and I just kicked for all life," he said. 


Besides, he also added that he did not notice Takahashi jump into the waters but one of his students did and told him that he spotted 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 rescue the mother and her child but he was not able to save the life of the soldier which left him completely devastated later on. "That was one the hardest things I have ever had to do, I let [the man] go so I could save myself," he wrote in a witness statement that the Army gave the publication.


"I didn't think I was going to make it," he said. Bourgeau added that his children were on his mind during the incident. As per the reports of NBC News, the Coast Guard told that the manga artist  was traveling alone and was found wearing snorkeling equipment and also reported that there were "damages to his body which looked like they were caused by some sort of marine animal." 

Kazuki Takahashi who was known by his real name Kazuko gained worldwide fame and popularity for his famous manga series about a spiky-haired boy named Yugi and his magical gaming powers. Yu-Gi-Oh! went on to become a global sensation in terms of anime programs and was also later released as video games and trading cards.