AN OLD Town mechanic and his student nurse girlfriend have been branded heroes – after pulling a drowning man from the sea.

The pair, who have been holidaying on Thai paradise island Koh Samui, saved the London man’s life. One holidaymaker, who contacted the Adver with the story, suggested that the couple should be handed bravery awards.

Swindon man Michael Wooten said he had been sunbathing on Chaweng beach with girlfriend Sarah Elliott, 29, when they became aware of a man struggling in the water.

A popular tourist destination for its paper-white sands, the beach is also cursed with powerful rip tides.

Michael, 32, said: “We noticed there were some young Thai girls trying to get this man out of the sea. He was getting constantly washed further out to sea. The current down there is very strong and there are lots of waves.”

Acting on instinct, Michael ran from the beach into the sea and headed straight for the man.

“I’m a good swimmer,” he said - admitting he had had no life-saving training. “I did a lot swimming when I was younger. I just went straight in and tried to get him out.

“He was about to be washed out to sea. I pulled him to shore and me and my girlfriend managed to get him on to the beach. He looked like he was having a panic attack.”

Michael and Sarah spent 40 minutes on the beach trying to revive the man, who they only knew as Graham from London.

They gave him bottles of water and persuaded his Thai wife to call an ambulance. When it arrived, the couple helped carry their patient from the beach to the ambulance.

Onlooker Noel Hogan, 57, from Farnham, said that Michael and Sarah were very brave and praised their quick thinking.

Calling their actions “heroic”, the holidaymaker told the Adver: “We became aware of a commotion about 50 yards away where a man had been pulled from the sea and was semi-conscious on the sand.

“The man had been dragged out to sea by a rip tide, which Chaweng beach is known for. Some Thai girls had noticed that he was struggling and that he appeared to give up and go limp.

“Michael, at great personal risk to himself, noticed the situation and managed to swim to Graham and pull him ashore.”

Noel said he had recommended the pair for a Royal Humane Society bravery award.