Reporter killed by crocodile while washing hands in lagoon

A Financial Times journalist was killed by a crocodile while washing his hands at a lagoon in Sri Lanka during a holiday with pals. Paul McClean, 25, an Oxford University graduate, is understood to have wandered away from his group of friends to find a toilet when he was attacked.

1505426675904The British victim, from Surrey, was seen “waving his hands in the air” in desperation before being dragged under water at a lagoon called Crocodile Rock near Arugam Bay. McClean graduated from Oxford with a First Class Honors degree in French in 2015 before joining the Financial Times later that year. He had covered Brexit and the EU for the newspaper and had recently returned to London after living in Brussels for a couple of months. The lagoon, known to be crawling with crocodiles, is yards away from popular surf spot Elephant Rock near Arugam Bay on the southeast coast. Sri Lankan police and the army are said to be searching the shore surrounding the area.

Locals claimed the victim had been staying at the East Beach Surf Resort – located just minutes away from the surfing area he went missing from. Fawas Lafeer, owner of Safa Surf School, located up the coast from where the incident happened, said: “A local fisherman witnessed a man being dragged into a river, set back from the beach, by a crocodile. The fisherman was on the opposite side of the river and downstream of the incident location.” He added:“This is the first known crocodile attack in Sri Lanka. Both tourists and locals surf at Elephant Rock, which is a beautiful secluded beach and very safe.

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