Lifeguard Thalerngsak “Mod” Wanyanaporn, 36, found the purse on the beach, near the McDonald’s on Thaweewong Rd, at 9:30am.
“While I was walking to a shop, I passed a Chinese couple on the beach. When I returned, they had gone, but a red purse was left behind,” Mr Thalerngsak explained.
Afraid of any accusations that might be made, before even picking up the purse Mr Thalerngsak called over other lifeguards to witness that he had found it.
“The other lifeguards were witnesses when I opened the wallet. Inside were two passports and Chinese banknotes totalling in value about B100,000. The passports were for Mr Tian Yongbo, 31, and Ms Ruan Yonggui, 26,” Mr Thalerngsak told The Phuket News today (July 31).
Mr Thalerngsak waited a while in case the tourists returned, and sure enough within minutes Mr Tian came sprinting down the beach toward him.
“He was in tears. I checked the passport photo to make sure it was his and gave the purse back,” Mr Thalerngsak added.
“Mr Tian was very happy. He said that he was to return to China today (July 31), and that he would be in trouble if he’d lost the wallet,” Mr Thalerngsak noted.
Mr Tian gave Mr Thalerngsak 200 yuan, equivalent to just under B1,000, as a reward.
“I have found many wallets left on the beach before, but the money had always already been taken. Only cards were left,” Mr Thalerngsak said.
“I always try to find the owners, but I have never found them. This was the first time that I have found a large amount of money. I am very glad that I handed the wallet back to its owner,” he added.