CROC KILLS REPORTER
Tributes to journalist after holiday horror
TRIBUTES have been paid to a journalist who was killed by a crocodile while on holiday.
Financial Times reporter Paul McClean was said to have been washing his hands in a river in Sri Lanka when he was attacked.
The 24-year-old Oxford University graduate is thought to have been staying with friends at the East Beach Surf Resort near Elephant Rock.
Staff at the FT have been left “heartbroken”.
A search operation was launched and it is understood Paul’s body has been recovered.
James Lamont, managing editor of the Financial Times, said: “Few details are known about the circumstances.
“We are liaising closely with his family and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are 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.”
Paul, from Thames Ditton in Surrey, was “a talented, energetic and dedicated young journalist”, Lamont said, adding that he had “a great career ahead of him”.
The victim, who described himself on his Twitter profile as a “long-suffering Evertonian”, worked on the paper’s fastFT desk and had been based for a time in Brussels, reporting on Brexit and the EU.
He was described by Katie Martin, head of fastFT, as “a warm, funny person and a talented young journalist with a curious mind” and “a joy to be around, truly, with an impish sense of humour”.
Paul was seen by a local fisherman being dragged into the river by the crocodile, said Fawas Lafeer, owner of Safa Surf School.
He said Paul had gone into the jungle to go to the toilet just before the incident and later washed his hands in the water.
A representative of the Foreign Office is understood to be travelling to the area to support Paul’s friends.
A spokesman said: “We are assisting the family of a British man following his tragic death in Sri Lanka, and will continue to do so at this very difficult time.
“Our staff remain in contact with the Sri Lankan police and navy.”
TALENTED FT man Paul