PHUKET - Less than three months after two Singaporean tourists nearly lost their lives in Phuket after ignoring warning red flags, another Singaporean decided to test his fate by going swimming while reportedly drunk.
The Phuket Gazette reported that the Singaporean tourist, whose name was given as Mr Lai Yeohchai, 23, was rescued by lifeguards when he got into trouble in the water after "drinking for hours" on Surin Beach at Cherng Talay, on the eastern coast of the Thai resort island on Wednesday afternoon.
The newspaper added that Mr Lai was pulled out of the water conscious but intoxicated.
One of the lifeguards who saved Mr Lai, Mr Hayam Bureerak, 32, told The New Paper over the phone last Friday that the Singaporean was with three friends and they were all drinking beer.
The lifeguard, who has 10 years' experience, said the group was at the beach for about five hours before Mr Lai decided to go for a swim.
When Mr Lai was pulled out of the water, he had swallowed a lot of sea water and had to be taken to hospital, he said.
The lifeguard could not remember the reactions of Mr Lai's friends during the near-drowning incident but he said he told them to accompany Mr Lai in the ambulance to the hospital.
The Phuket Gazette quoted an unnamed lifeguard as saying: "He (Mr Lai) sat on the beach and drank for hours before going in the water.
"He was hit by big waves and dragged away. I saw it from the beach guard tower and called for another lifeguard to help me rescue him."
A staff member at Thalang Government Hospital, where Mr Lai was taken, told the newspaper: "He was kept at the hospital until it was safe for him to be discharged."