The warning came after an Irishman was rescued from being dashed on rocks, and an exhausted Polish man was in need of oxygen after being pulled back onshore from a dangerous rip current.
Lifeguards were first alerted to 30-year-old Polish man at about 11:30am after he went to swim where red ‘no swimming’ flags were posted, Nai Harn lifeguard Narongdet Senajutti told The Phuket News.
“The man was caught in a rip current which took him away from shore. We brought him back to the beach and gave him oxygen,” Mr Narong said.
“The man told us that he went to boxing training before coming to swim. He must have been exhausted from that,” he said.
“On Monday, we helped a 34-year-old Irishman, who asked us to just call him Paul, who jumped to swim from a rock near the hotel where he was staying.
“The area is marked as a dangerous area to swim. He was caught in a vortex which pushed him onto the rocks,” Mr Narong explained.
A lifeguard on a rescue board paddled out close to the rocks so that the Irishman could swim just a handful of metres and clamber on board, and be brought safely back to the beach.
“He was brought ashore safely but he suffered some scratches along his body,” Mr Narong said.
Fellow lifeguard Nara Ratthanarak explained that there are three lifeguard stations now posted along Nai Harn Beach to keep watch on swimmers during the current dangerous swim conditions.
“To all beachgoers, if we set flag areas [marking where it is safe to swim], please swim only in the areas marked and follow lifeguards’ suggestions, as we have rescued eight people already this month,” Mr Nara said.
“Two years ago we had two people die after being caught in the area where the vortex forms. I always warn foreign visitors to stay away from that area and we always post red flags to prevent people from swimming there,” 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.