Journalist killed by crocodile while washing hands in lagoon

Paul McClean

The Sun is reporting Paul McClean was cleaning his hands in the river when the reptile attacked him.

Reports state that McClean and his friends had been staying at the East Beach Surf Resort, in the south-east of the country.

Mr McClean was from Thames Ditton and joined the newspaper as a graduate trainee two years ago and was most recently working for the fastFT news service.

The paper's tribute to McClean described him as a: "Talented, energetic and dedicated' journalist with an eye for hidden stories", and his last post on Champagne as a, "a richly reported and suitably sparkling blend of context, data and quotes", which it is. Officials in the British embassy in Colombo have been informed, police said. "My heart goes to the friends and family of the charming Paul McClean" she wrote, adding "Paul spent his last days in the office laughing at stupid stuff on the internet and trying to convince me he looked like Daniel Craig".

A colleague at the Financial Times told the Guardian that they are all "totally stunned", adding that McClean was a "great kid" and "super bright". "There's a lagoon right next to the sea he went to the toilet next to the lagoon and was grabbed by a crocodile", a Scottish tourist, who is now on holiday in the area, said. "The desk to my left is empty". He is believed to have been washing his hands in the lagoon when the #Crocodile struck, dragging him into the nearby river.

Fawas Lafeer, owner of Safa Surf School, located up the coast from where the incident happened, said: "Yesterday afternoon at around 3.15pm there was an incident involving a tourist at Elephant Rock surf spot, near Aragum Bay".

A post-mortem to determine the exact cause of death was under way, after which the body would be flown back to Britain, police said. And in 2014, a 57-year-old woman was killed by a crocodile in the Ambalantota area.

During monsoon floods in May, authorities warned people in inundated areas to beware of stray crocodiles.

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