The foreign woman was brought safely back to shore at about 5:45pm, one lifeguard at the beach, who asked not to be named, told The Phuket News.
“The woman appeared to have been drinking [alcohol] before entering the water,” he said.
The woman had also entered the water in an area marked with red ‘no swimming’ flags, he added.
“We had already installed red flags along the beach and warned the woman not to swim in the dangerous area near the rocks, but she did not follow our warnings,” the lifeguard added.
“She was caught in a rip current which took her away from shore,” he said.
After the woman was safely back on the beach she was administered oxygen to help her recover from exhaustion, he noted.
“While we were going to help her, a foreign man came to us and told us that he would go to help her. We spent a while telling him to stay on the beach and let us do our job because the waves were strong,” the lifeguard continued.
“I understand his good intention, but we did not want to rescue another person,” he added.
“To all beachgoers, if we set flags marking areas where it is safe to swim, please swim only in the areas marked and follow lifeguards’ suggestions,” he said.
“For those who come to the beach with children, do not let them swim alone. Take care of your children, don’t just relax and eat, keep an eye on them,” he said.
Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub