Maj Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police told The Phuket News that the tourist, Ho Leong Lawrence, was pulled from the water at Merlin Beach by staff from a nearby hotel at about 2pm.
Mr Ho was rushed to Patong Hospital, and later transferred to Bangkok Hospital Phuket, in Phuket Town, Maj Ekkachai said.
“He is alive. He is breathing on his own, but so far he has not regained consciousness,” Maj Ekkachai said.
Paitoon Ponrop, Chief of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation office at Patong Municipality (DDPM-Patong), explained that no lifeguards hired by Patong Municipality patrol Merlin Beach, leaving the beach guarded only by hotel staff.
Mr Ho was staying with his wife at a hotel near Merlin Beach. The couple checked in yesterday (Nov 12) and were due to check out on Friday (Nov 15), police confirmed.
Mr Ho’s near-death drowning experience today follows that of Russian-Swiss dual national Natalia Startseva Bahni, 49, who was pulled from the water at Patong Beach before dawn last Wednesday morning (Nov 6).
Ethiopian national Ephrem Shimondi Gebreegziabher, 38, saw Ms Bahni floating face down in the water about halfway along Patong Beach at about 6:45am.
He brought her ashore and called lifeguards for help.
Lifeguards at the scene started performing CPR. Ms Bahni was revived on the beach and started breathing on her own. She regained consciousness, but later lapsed while en route to Patong Hospital.
Ms Bhani was later transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital, where she remains comatose in the Respiratory Care Unit. (See story here.)
“Ms Bhani still has yet to regain consciousness,” Maj Ekkachai told The Phuket News today.
Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub