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PHUKET: Lifeguards have once again strongly urged tourists to swim with caution and never disobey red-flags after four tourists were safely rescued from strong waves at Nai Harn Beach yesterday.

The lifeguards believe them to be 20-30 years old.

“We have clearly placed red flags in areas where the winds and waves are strong and we perceive that there is any level of danger to swimmers. In this instance, three of them were surfing and one was swimming. Due to the strong winds, they were stuck in the current and could not make it back ashore. So, three of our team members quickly went to their rescue,” said Nai Harn chief lifeguard Jula Nontree.

The tourists were brought back safely and did not need to be hospitalized.

“I don’t understand why red-flags go unheeded in Phuket. We urge tourists to follow our instructions for their own safety. Lifeguards can help you, but not all the time,” he added.

This month alone has seen several drownings and near drownings in Phuket.

Last week, a Patong lifeguard rescued a Chinese tourist who nearly drowned after being washed away by strong waves in a red-flagged zone at Patong Beach (story here).

A few days before that, the bodies of two Chinese tourists were found two days after they went swimming in a red-flagged zone at Freedom Beach (story here).

— Kongleaphy Keam