On July 6, 2022, the whole manga world was stunned as the Japanese artist Kazuki Takahashi was found dead in the water 300 meters off the shore of Nago, Okinawa. While at that time, it was reported that he died due to an accident while snorkeling, but a recent US military newspaper provided some additional information regarding the case.
According to a report from Stars and Stripes, a U.S. army officer has been recognized for rescuing three people from a riptide that nearly cost the lives of two other people and the officer at a popular Okinawa dive spot.
The 49-year-old officer, Major Robert Bourgeau was recommended for a Soldier’s Medal for his July 4 activities at Mermaid’s Grotto in the Okinawa hamlet of Onna.
According to reports, Bourgeau saw three swimmers, two of them were Japanese citizens and one was a fellow US soldier struggling in a dangerous riptide and hurried out to save them while “still wearing his running shoes.”
A verified source’s report said that the riptide was too dangerous and had big six-foot waves, swirling quickly, which began sucking in the stranded swimmers.
Bourgeau himself was also a trained scuba instructor, so he was capable of bringing both the civilians and the officer to a safe place as he did. During the rescue, “several sworn witness statements provided by the Army” say Takahashi also jumped in to help, but onlookers only “caught glimpses of him until he disappeared beneath the waves.”
Other than the sworn statements from the eyewitnesses, his car was also found parked at Mermaid’s Grotto, where the incident took place.
“He’s a hero”, Bourgeau told Stars & Stripes. “He died trying to save someone else.”
Numerous fans showed their feelings about Takahashi’s death, as he put his life to save some strangers. He was a courageous guy with a self-sacrificing nature. Hats off to you man, we all pray that you may live in heaven.
Mitzi Francis is a content editor at The Landscape Insight. With a background in journalism and a passion for storytelling, Mitzi brings a unique perspective to his role at the publication. He is committed to delivering high-quality, informative content to his readers.