World News

FT's flags at half mast after journalist is 'killed by crocodile'

FT's flags at half mast after journalist is 'killed by crocodile'

Paul McClean, a journalist working at the Financial Times, had reportedly arrived on the island a few days earlier with friends.

24-year-old reporter came to Sri Lanka to relax and to surf.

The former Oxford University student, who graduated with a first in French in 2015, had recently returned to London after a two-month stay in Brussels covering Brexit.

James Lamont, the FT's managing editor, described McClean as "a talented, energetic and dedicated young journalist".

Divers found Paul McClean's body in a muddy lagoon known to be infested with crocodiles, close to where he was last seen waving desperately for help.

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

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Fawas Lafeer, owner of nearby Safa Surf School, said a local fisherman witnessed a man being dragged into a river not far from the beach by a croc.

A spokesman from the Foreign Office has said they are assisting McClean's family. Witnesses claimed that the Briton was pulled into the water while he was washing his hands.

He told reporters the journalist had gone into the jungle to go to the toilet just before the incident happened and later washed his hands in the water.

"We are in touch with them, doing all we can to help during this hard time". "They have sent out the Navy, Army and the task force, but I doubt they will find the body".

McClean's body was identified by friends he was holidaying with in Sri Lanka, and the final cause of death had yet to be established.

By the time authorities arrived at the scene, it was too dark to search the lagoon, the newspaper said. The lagoon famous for the presence of crocodiles is just yards away from the well-known surf spot called the Elephant Rock. He was a great kid, a fan of Everton FC, super bright. He had worked for the Financial Times newspaper for two years after his graduation and had covered the European Union and Brexit.