Close call at Patong Beach: Tourist’s life saved by vigilant lifeguards

Picture courtesy of Patong Surf Life Saving.

A hazardous rip current at Patong Beach, Phuket, nearly claimed the life of a foreign tourist on Monday. Thanks to the swift and skilled response from Patong Beach’s lifeguards, the individual was safely brought back to shore and revived.

The beach was already under lifeguard surveillance due to the rip current threat when the victim was found unconscious in the water. Despite the posted red flags indicating unsafe swimming conditions and lifeguards’ advisories against entering the water, the individual found himself caught in the perilous current. A designated safe swim area marked by yellow-red flags was ignored.

At approximately 1.10pm, lifeguards managed to bring the unconscious man to shore in Patong. Immediate CPR was administered and continued until an ambulance arrived to transport him to Patong Hospital. Subsequent updates revealed that the man’s pulse had stabilised and he had been moved to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town for further treatment.

Patong Surf Life Saving, the local lifeguard organisation, expressed their gratitude to the medical staff at Patong Hospital and praised their efforts in reviving the patient. The support provided by the nursing team was particularly commended for being extremely helpful.

Additional acknowledgements were extended to Patong Municipality lifeguards, beach operators and employees, Patong members of the Kusoldharm Foundation, and Bussba of Enterprise Massage Patong Beach, reported The Phuket News.

Posting about the incident on social media, Patong Surf Life Saving tagged it with #Miracles are real. Veteran lifeguard Jula Nontree took the opportunity to laud expert trainers for equipping local lifeguards in Patong with the knowledge to identify dangerous rip currents and prevent further mishaps.

This wasn’t an isolated incident. In August alone, Patong Beach lifeguards rescued 84 individuals from perilous rip currents. Three of those rescued had to be rushed to the hospital for immediate medical attention. The lifeguards also responded to a variety of other incidents including treatments for sea creature stings, injuries from sharp objects in the sand, accidents during water activities, and fainting episodes.

They also assisted in an oil spill incident, helping to clean oil off four tourists. In addition, the lifeguards offered educational talks on drowning prevention to Kindergarten 2 students at a local school in Patong.

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Phuket News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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