Drowning foreign woman saved at Patong beach

Drowning foreign woman saved at Patong beach

Police inspect the area where the foreign woman was found drowning and saved, on Patong beach in Phuket on Thursday morning. (Photo by Achadtaya Chuenniran)
Police inspect the area where the foreign woman was found drowning and saved, on Patong beach in Phuket on Thursday morning. (Photo by Achadtaya Chuenniran)

PHUKET: A foreign woman was saved from drowning at Patong beach in Phuket shortly before sunrise on Thursday morning.

The incident occurred on Patong beach opposite Thaweewong post office, said Pol Col Itthikorn Patcharadet, deputy tourist police chief at Phuket tourist police station.

Ephrem Shimondi Gebreegziabher, 38, an Ethiopian national, told police he found the woman lying unconscious, face down in the water. He immediately pulled her from the water and called a lifeguard to help.

Lifeguard Thawat Nokrurak said he gave the woman emergency resuscitation. She regained  consciousness and was then rushed to Patong Hospital. She was later transferred to Vachira Hospital, Pol Col Ittikorn said.

Jurairat Suwannawong, chair of the Hat Patong club, said the woman had come to the beach around 5am for the last five consecutive days. She usually appeared to be drunk, Ms Jurairat said,

A Ukrainian woman, Olga Kotelenets, 36, later arrived at the hospital and confirmed the woman was Natalia Stravtseva Bahni, and she said was her friend.

Police said checks revealed Ms Bahni had two passports, from Switzerland and Russia. She entered the country via Phuket airport on Aug 19, with a visa to remain until Nov 16. She stayed at the Patong Tower building. Authorities were contacting her Swiss husband.


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