Terrified tourists ran from the beach today after a monitor lizard was seen swimming in the sea.
Beachgoers mistook the reptile for a CROCODILE as it casually glided through the surf at around 12.30pm.
But the reptile had just wandered away from nearby woodland and was chilling out by taking a dip in the water.
Lifeguards hauled the lizard from the sea before releasing him back into the wild. But not holidaymakers including a young girl people had posed for photographs with the animal.
The Pattaya Marine Corps measured the monitor lizard and said it was about one-and-a-half metres long and weighed roughly 10kg.
Onlooker Warapol Wattana said: ‘’There was a stampede to get off the beach because people thought it was a crocodile.
‘’Lifeguards took the lizard out of the sea and then people and then people were posing with it for photographs.’’