'Yu-Gi-Oh!' Creator Kazuki Takahashi Died Trying to Save Woman, Young Girl, Witness Says

Kazuki Takahashi, the Japanese manga artist who created Yu-Gi-Oh!, died after attempting to help people from drowning back in July 2022. According to TMZ, a witness claimed that Takahashi had swum out alongside Maj. Robert Bourgeau to aid in rescuing three people from a rip tide back on July 4, 2022.

The U.S. Army officer and scuba diving instructor, 49, spotted a Japanese woman calling for help, pointing to her 11-year-old daughter and another U.S. soldier, 39, who was trapped in a rip current about 100 yards from the shore. A rip current is a current of water that moves away from shore, cutting through the line of waves and heading out to sea. They are responsible for 46 U.S. deaths per year and can happen without a swimmer being aware.

According to Stars and Stripes, "The rip current was sucking the pair out, but incoming six-foot waves were crashing on them, creating a whirlpool effect." This sent Bourgeau into action, making his way out to the people and doing his best. "I grabbed mom and I grabbed [the girl] and I just kicked for all life," he told the outlet.

Bourgeau managed to save the 11-year-old girl and her mother on his way back to shore but was too tired to safely make it out to the soldier. Thankfully, he could talk the 39-year-old through it and got him to safety as well.

Unbeknownst to Bourgeau, Takahashi followed him into the water and was trying to help in the rescue. The 60-year-old sadly perished without encountering the U.S. Army officer, while the soldier's students on the shore saw the artist until he disappeared under the water.

Takahashi's body was found 1,000 feet offshore two days after the rescue attempt. According to Bourgeau, the manga artist deserves to be honored. "He's a hero," he said. "He died trying to save someone else."

Considering the ordeal's effect on Bourgeau, it isn't surprising that Takahashi encountered heightened danger in the water. "That was one the hardest things I have ever had to do, I let [the man] go so I could save myself," Bourgeau said in his witness statement. "I didn't think I was going to make it."

Sadly, the Yu-Gi-Oh! creator didn't get a chance to share his own statement despite the heroics. Rest in peace.