In July, esteemed manga artist Kazuki Takahashi, creator of Yu-Gi-Oh!, died from drowning at the Mermaid's Grotto dive site in Okinawa, Japan. At the time, there was little information available about the circumstances of his tragic death. But now, it's come out that Takahashi was attempting to save several people who had been caught in a riptide and were struggling to stay above water. The details came out after US Army Maj. Robert Bourgeau was nominated for a Soldier's Medal for rescuing a woman and her daughter along with another soldier who was also trying to bring in the pair who were about 100 yards from shore. In a Stars and Stripes interview, Bourgeau recounted the story and told of Takahashi's heroism:
Takahashi's body was found two days later about 1,000 feet offshore in Awa, Nago city, a Japan Coast Guard spokesman told Stars and Stripes by phone Oct. 4. His rental car was later found at Mermaid's Grotto, the spokesman said.
The Coast Guard spokesman declined to confirm Takahashi's participation in the rescue attempt, however, his actions that day are detailed in several sworn witness statements provided by the Army […]
At some point during the rescue, Takahashi entered the water, Bourgeau said. He said he didn't see the Japanese icon during the ordeal. Bourgeau's students caught glimpses of him until he disappeared beneath the waves.
"He's a hero," Bourgeau said of Takahashi. "He died trying to save someone else."