The alarm was raised at about 7pm after lifeguards had closed the beach at sunset.
Two lifeguards who had remained behind were informed that two people, a man and a woman, both Chinese tourists, were missing after entering the water, prompting a search for the couple.
The man, Jing Tao, 33, was found and brought ashore. He was taken to the Accident & Emergency Centre at the still-under-construction Chalong Hospital and later transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town.
Mr Jing is now reported to be in a safe condition.
However, the search for Ms Yang continued, with Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos ordering more officials from Rawai Municipality to join the search.
Her body was found washed ashore at the north end of Nai Harn Beach at 10:30pm.
Ms Yang’s body was taken to Vachira Hospital and the Chinese consulate was informed of her death, officials confirmed.
Lifeguards reported that yesterday they had posted red ‘No Swimming’ flags along nearly the entire length of the beach to prevent people from entering the dangerous surf, which was pounding the entire west coast amid a ‘monsoon surge’. (See story here.)