The tourist, 28-year-old Li Guangwei, from Guangdong, shouted for help at about 3pm after he felt a stabbing pain in his left foot while swimming in front of the Banana Walk mall on Thaweewong Rd.
Lifeguards brought him ashore and provided first aid.
“He had a hole in his foot and was bleeding. He was very frightened,” one lifeguard told The Phuket News.
“He even had difficulty breathing. We provided first aid and Kusoldharm rescue workers took him to Patong Hospital.”
“Mr Li said he didn’t see a what caused the injury, but we believe that it might be a stingray,” the lifeguard added.
“Stingrays like to dig into the sand in shallow water after it has rained and when the sea water is muddy and swirling,” he said.
“Last year one tourist was injured by a stingray, and Mr Li is the first person this year,” the lifeguard said.
Sen Sgt Maj Phudit Nguanson of Phuket Tourist Police stationed at the beach end of Bangla Rd attended to Mr Li at the hospital.
“Mr Li is safe. His doctor told us that Mr Li was injured by marine life, which they believe was likely to have been a horseshoe crab,” he said.
“Doctors gave him an injection and and made sure he was feeling well enough before discharging from hospital. He has since returned to his accommodation,” Sen Sgt Maj Phudit said.