Heartbroken friends mourn reporter killed by crocodile
Yesterday his friends had the grim task of formally identifying his body.
Witnesses told how Mr McClean was seen frantically waving his hands as he was snatched from the bank.
The group had been staying at the nearby East Beach Surf Resort in the bay and were at the start of their break.
Mr McClean grew up in Thames Ditton, Surrey and graduated from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford with a first class honours degree in French in 2015.
He went straight from university to begin work as a graduate trainee at the Financial Times.
His colleague Katie Martin described him as “a talented young journalist with a curious mind” and “a joy to be around with an impish sense of humour”.
She wrote on Twitter: “The desk to my left is empty. This is a sad time. My heart goes to the friends and family of the charming PS McClean.” James Lamont, managing editor of the Financial Times, described Mr McClean as “a talented, energetic and dedicated young journalist” who had “a great career ahead of him at the FT”.
He said: “We are liaising closely with his family and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and offering the FT’s assistance.
“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones.
“We are in touch with them, doing all we can to help during this difficult time.”
Mr McClean – a keen squash player and a football fan describing himself as a “long-suffering Evertonian” – had been working for the paper’s fastFT news desk and had previously been posted in Brussels.
Brussels bureau chief Alex Barker said: “He was one hell of a reporter if he was on your case.
“Paul was an inspiration to us all in the Brussels bureau. He had a rare gift: an eye for hidden stories, writing flair and the charm to make people tell him anything and everything.”
Sri Lankan rescue teams at the spot, known locally as Crocodile Rock, where the journalist was attacked by the reptile
Tributes...reporter Paul McClean