Tributes paid to journalist attacked and killed by crocodile at river bank
AINE FOX ELLIE CULLEN
Paul McClean was on holiday in Sri Lanka.
“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, originally from Thames Ditton in Surrey, was “a
talented, energetic and dedicated young journalist” he said, adding that he had “a great career ahead of him at the FT”.
The journalist, who described himself on his Twitter profile as a “long-suffering Evertonian”, worked on the paper’s fastFT desk, and had been based 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”.
Mr McClean was seen by a local fisherman being “dragged into the river” by the crocodile, said Fawas Lafeer, owner of Safa Surf School.
He told reporters the journalist had gone into the jungle to go to the toilet just before the incident and later washed his hands in the water.
Mr Lafeer, who said crocodiles have been known to hide bodies in the mud, added that it is “almost unheard of” for the reptiles to come so close to the beach.
A representative of the Foreign Office is understood to be travelling to the area to support Mr McClean’s friends.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are assisting the family of a British man following his tragic death in Sri Lanka.”