The people rescued comprised four Chinese, one Thai woman, an Arabian man and 11 European tourists, Patong Surf Life Saving Chief Somprasong Sangchart told The Phuket News today (Aug 28).
“Yesterday, there were 17 cases in total where Patong lifeguards had to rescue people due to the bad weather,” he said.
“Because of the few number of lifeguards and insufficient equipment we have, it was such a big challenge for the capability of the team,” he added.
Lifeguards had repeatedly warned the tourists to swim only in the safe zones, Mr Somprasong said.
“Some were pushed out of the zone by strong waves, but others simply ignored our warnings,” he added.
All 17 people rescued did not require hospital treatment, Mr Somprasong said.
“After we provided assistance, all of them were fine. None of them were in critical condition, and there was no need to call for an ambulance from the hospital,” he said.
Patong lifeguards also provided first aid to one European woman after she suffered a minor injury from a motorbike accident, which brought the total number of cases in which lifeguards provided assistance to tourists to 18 in the one day, Mr Somprasong noted.
“Patong lifeguards provided first aid, and called a Kusoldham rescue team to take her to the local hospital,” he added.
“I want to thank all our staff for working very well and all relevant officials who took a part in helping yesterday,” Mr Somprasong said.
“And to all tourists, obey the lifeguards when you get in the water please,” he added.