British journalist dragged into river by crocodile in Sri Lanka; dies

British man'killed by crocodile while washing his hands in Sri Lankan lagoon

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. He had graduated from Oxford with a First Class Honours degree in French in 2015 and had joined the Financial Times later that year. He had worked for the Financial Times newspaper for two years after his graduation and had covered the European Union and Brexit.

According to local media reports, a post-mortem will be conducted on Friday, to establish the exact cause of death.

James Lamont, the FT's managing editor, said the paper was offering its help to his family and liaising closely with the Foreign Office.

"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Paul's family, friends and loved ones and we ask that the media respect their privacy at this hard time".

The Guardian reports that the body was found on Friday with "six or seven wounds on his right leg".

When the young reporter went to wash his hands in the nearby river he was surprised by a crocodile that pulled him into the water.

Local residents claimed that visitors to the southern Sri Lankan beach resort where Mr McClean was killed were not warned of the possibility of crocodile attacks in the area.

An unpleasant incident occurred with the London journalist Paul McClain in the Bay of the lagoon, bearing the name of "Crocodile mountain" in Sri Lanka. He had a rare gift: "an eye for hidden stories, writing flair and the charm to make people tell him anything and everything".

Katie Martin, head of the Financial Times' fastFT team, described McClean as "a warm, amusing person and a talented young journalist with a curious mind. a joy to be around, truly, with an impish sense of humour".

McClean was raised in Thames Ditton in Surrey. The lagoon famous for the presence of crocodiles is just yards away from the well-known surf spot called the Elephant Rock. When he came out of his group and went in search of a toilet, the crocodile attacked at that time. The fisherman was on the opposite side of the river and downstream of the incident location.

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