The American man had rented a kayak and paddled out to the island, but was unable to make it back to Phuket, explained Lt Col Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police
Phuket Tourist Police officers were informed of the man’s predicament at about 4:50pm after the tourist had called the Tourist Police 1155 hotline, Lt Col Ekkachai confirmed.
The tourist, who Lt Col Ekkachai declined to name but estimated to be about 25 years old, had arrived in Phuket under the Phuket Sandbox scheme, Lt Col Ekkachai also confirmed.
Tourist Police along with a lifeguard from Nai Harn Beach boarded a jet-ski to recover the man from the island. As the jet-ski neared the shore, they could see him waving at them.
The tourist told police that he had gone kayaking from Yanui Beach out to the island, Koh Man. While on the island, he had climbed up onto a rock and slipped down, injuring his leg.
While back on shore at Yanui Beach, the man pointed out that he had asked the kayak rental operator whether he could paddle to the far side of the island.
The American was adamant that she said he could.
The kayak rental operator was adamant that she said he couldn’t.
Lt Col Ekkachai confirmed that the tourist had suffered only scratches along his legs.
The tourist was brought back to Phuket safely and escorted back to the hotel where he is staying in Wichit, Lt Col Ekkachai said.
Phuket for weeks now has been experiencing typical “southwest monsoon” weather for this time of year, with strong winds and passing storms making travel on open water around the island dangerous.
Last week, German tourist couple were safely rescued and brought back to Phuket after they were blown offshore by a passing storm while kayaking off Phuket’s east coast.
The dangers of being blown offshore while kayaking off Phuket has previously made international headlines following the disappearance of Polish tourist Mateusz Juszkiewicz, 26, and Werakan Siriprakon, 23, from Nakhon Sawan, in December 2019.
The couple were last seen kayaking off Yanui Beach, where the American had rented his kayak from yesterday.
Despite days of searching by air and sea rescue teams, Mr Juszkiewicz and Ms Werakan were never found.