Kusoldharm Foundation rescue teams began searching for the tourist, Lim Yuin Chuang, from Penang, after police were notified by a worried Malaysian friend, Miss Pailin Liya, 34, at about 8:15pm.
Miss Liya had been in contact with Mr Lim via mobile phone chat and was able to give rescue teams a rough location of where to search – the rocky peninsular between Nai Yang and Nai Thon beaches on the west coast.
Sakoo Police as well as officials from Sirinat National Park officials and the Sakoo Tambon Administration Organisation (SAO) joined the Kusoldharm rescue workers and volunteers to search for Mr Lim.
However, the search teams scouring the coast from boats and rubber dinghies were unable to find Mr Lim – until he set his shirt on fire so they could see him at about 10pm.
Mr Lim sent a message to Miss Pailin so she could tell the search teams to look for the burning shirt, which they did.
After 30 minutes of cautiously approaching the rocky coast, a local fishing boat that had joined the search recovered a tired-but-safe Mr Lim from the rocks.
Mr Lim said he had travelled to Phuket many times.
He explained that he had arrived at Phuket airport at 8am yesterday, but wanted to walk along the beach to the hotel where had booked to stay in Patong because he belived the journey was only five kilometres.
While walking along the rocky peninsular the tide rose and strong waves forced him to clamber onto the rocks.
Unable to continue, he contacted Miss Lim for help.