Journalist killed by crocodile while washing hands in lagoon

Pauline Gross
September 16, 2017

Friends identified the man as Paul McClean, a 24-year-old journalist who worked as a reporter for the British newspaper Financial Times and was taking surfing lessons during the holiday on the island.

The reporters added that McClean left his group of friends and went to the toilet, where he got ambushed by the beast after dipping hands into lagoon to wash.

McClean, from Ditton in Surrey, joined the FT in 2015 having graduated from Oxford with a first class degree in French.

"We are in touch with them, doing all we can to help during this hard time", James Lamont, the FT's managing editor, was quoted as saying in the report. "So they couldn't see what was going on", he said.

"Our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones".

"Fishermen saw him attacked by the crocodile and then they screamed to the surfers to come and help", Fawas Lafeer, owner of the nearby Safa Surf School, told BBC Radio 5.

"We are in touch with them, doing all we can to help during this hard time".

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The victim was seen "waving his hands in the air" before being dragged under the water. His most recent FT story explored the threat to champagne production from climate change.

Lafeer said crocodiles had been known to hide bodies in the mud.

Sri Lanka Navy was able to recover this morning the body of the British tourist who had been snatched by a crocodile on Thursday. There is a river connected to Elephant Rock, and he went in the river.

Crocodile attacks on people are rare in Sri Lanka.

"They are 90 per cent sure it was a crocodile but a couple of the guys said there was quicksand in the lagoon", the tourist said.

A keen squash player and football fan - he described himself as a "long-suffering Evertonian" - McClean was tireless when mastering a new beat, investing weeks in understanding aviation issues to produce a groundbreaking piece explaining the implications of Brexit on the sector.

Other reports by GizPress

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