Snr Sgt Maj Rattanapong Rosthip of the Phuket Tourist Police this morning identified the woman as Natalia Startseva Bahni, 49.
Meanwhile Capt Ittikorn Pacharadej confirmed that Ms Bahni holds a Swiss passport and a Russian passport. “She arrived in Phuket at Phuket International Airport on August 19, and was was staying at Patong Tower Condominium,” he said.
Ms Bahni was pulled from the water about halfway along Patong Beach by an Ethiopian man, identified as Ephrem Shimondi Gebreegziabher, 38, said Capt Ittikorn Pacharadej of the Phuket Tourist Police.
“Mr Gebreegziabher said that he saw Ms Bahni floating face down in the water at around 6:45am. He brought her ashore and called lifeguards for help,” he said.
Patong Surf Life Saving Chief Somprasong Sangchart told The Phuket News, “It was lucky that the tourist found her and pulled her out of the water. She had no pulse and was not breathing.
“We had lifeguards there on patrol from the night shift who started performing CPR. She was revived and started breathing on her own. She regained consciousness and we asked her in Russian, ‘Are you okay?’ She responded with a nod, but her breathing was still very weak.
“An ambulance took her to Patong Hospital and she was later transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital the same day,” Mr Somprasong said.
Capt Ittikorn of the Phuket Tourist Police confirmed this morning, “She is still in the RCU room [Respiratory Care Unit] at Vachira Phuket Hospital. We have asked the management of Patong Tower Condominium to contact her relations.”
Patong Surf Life Saving Chief Mr Somprasong also confirmed to The Phuket News, “Patong Beach is always closed to swimmers from 6:30pm to 8:30am the next day. This is for safety.”