The 52-year-old German woman was pulled from the surf off Phuket's Kata beach about 1.30pm yesterday with one of the new Phuket Provincial Administration ambulances arriving in minutes to take her to hospital.
Survival depends on speed and the quality of care and the woman was being given cpr and oxygen on the beach when the ambulance arrived.
The woman was initially taken to Patong Hospital then transferred to Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket City.
Today she was responding well to treatment, talking and close to being taken off oxygen.
Hundreds of rescues are now being performed in the surf off Phuket's beaches. The drownings toll would probably be higher than eight deaths since May 18 if not for the improvements in lifeguard training and the provision of more ambulances.
Yet because Phuket beaches are so dangerous at this time of the year, the Phuket Lifeguard Service says the help of all Phuket resorts is still needed to properly warn tourists of the dangers.
There's evidence of good resorts responding to that request.
''Things are moving forward,'' said Jayne MacDougall, Director of Risk Management and Loss Prevention at the Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort. ''There's no doubt about that.''
A record 28 candidates from other Phuket resorts turned out for this year's Le Meridien lifeguard training course.
Ms MacDougall said that prevention was difficult sometimes for people to understand because ''it requires effort and resources and there's nothing to show for it.''
But the benefits of the training courses, which have now been going for 12 years, were showing, she said.
Three Phuket lifeguards are competing in Australia at a Rescue 2012 competition, with the Phuket lifeguards taking part in surf competition while a group of Bangkok lifeguards compete in the pool section.
''It's a great thing for Phuket, and a great thing for Thailand,'' she said.
Ms MacDougall and the chief of the Phuket Lifeguard Service, Prathayut ''Nat'' Cheryon, are heading for Britain next month to take part in a Royal National Lifeboat Institute workshop course designed to improve the skills of people managing groups of lifeguards.
The saving of the German tourist yesterday emphasised how far the lifeguards and other essential parts of the rescue process have progressed - and how important it is for Phuket to be seen as a safe year-round beach destination.