Tributes to jour­nal­ist af­ter hol­i­day hor­ror

Daily Record - - NEWS - AINE FOX re­porters@dai­

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.”


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