U.S. army says Yu-Gi-Oh!’s creator Kazuki Takahashi, the death of whom was reported in July, was killed while attempting to assist in the rescue of three people who were caught in a reflux current in a popular diving spot near Okinawa.
According to a report from the American military newspaper Stars and Stripes (opens in a new tab), the incident occurred on July 4 when Major Robert Bourgeau of Torii Station’s 10th Support Group, who is also a diver’s instructor, spotted a woman calling for help for her 11-year-old daughter and an American soldier.
The couple was trapped in an ebb current, apparently while snorkeling approximately 100 meters from shore.
Bourgeau and one of his students moved through the shallow waters to try a rescue; he was able to take out the daughter and her mother, that had also been fired into the current, whereas the soldier was finally able to reach the shore by himself.
“The conditions were really, really rough,” Bourgeau said.
Somewhere along the way, the 60-year-old Takahashi entered the water to aid in the rescue. Bureau said he hadn’t seen the Yu-Gi-Oh! He was creative, but his students did, repeatedly, until he disappeared underwater. The Japanese Coast Guard was unwilling to confirm the report, but Stars and Stripes stated that Takahashi’s actions were detailed in “several sworn witness statements provided by the army.”
“He’s a hero,” Bourgeau said. “He died trying to save someone else.”
Bourgeau has been nominated for the Private’s Medal for his part in the rescue.