The woman, 27-year-old Maria Novikova was swimming with friends at Phra Ae Beach on Wednesday night (Feb 6) when she was pulled away from shore by strong a rip current, explained Cdr Teerayut Phakdeepak, Commander of Royal Thai Navy Marine Safety Unit based on Koh Lanta Noi.
After receiving the report at 8:45pm that Ms Novikova was missing, the Navy unit, local scuba diving operators and local residents launched a joint search for the Russian woman, scouring the waters offshore for any sign of her, he said.
Ms Novikova was found at about 10pm, some 250 meters from the beach, he said.
“She was frightened, but managing to keep her head above water,” he noted.
“Navy personnel recovered her from the water and brought her ashore. She was taken to Lanta Hospital to make sure of her physical condition, but she was emotionally distraught and crying,” Cdr Teerayut said.
“Doctors cleared Ms Novikova fit to leave the hospital, and navy personnel escorted her back to her hotel,” he added.