Surrey man killed by crocodile


Financial Times reporter Paul McClean was said to have been washing his hands in the river when he was attacked by the reptile.

Police said the victim, who disappeared in a lagoon near the city of Panama on Thursday (9/14/2017) afternoon, has been identified as Paul Stewart McClean, a reporter for the Financial Times.

Witnesses said Paul McClean, 24, was staying with his friends at the East Beach Surf Resort and was taking surfing lessons at a popular surf spot called the Elephant Rock.

McClean, from Ditton in Surrey, joined the FT in 2015 having graduated from Oxford with a first class degree in French.

It was thought that the crocodile may have hidden the journalist's body in a muddy lagoon.

Fawas Lafeer, the owner of Safa Surf School revealed that a local fisherman first saw the man being dragged deeper into the river waters by a crocodile.

He had reportedly been trying to wash his hands.

Witnesses told how Mr McClean was seen frantically waving his hands as he was snatched from the bank.

Other holidaymakers in the area alerted police after McClean disappeared and a search was mounted with the help of navy divers, AFP reported.

"We are in touch with them, doing all we can to help during this hard time".

In April, a 13-year-old girl was attacked and dragged underwater by a crocodile at Pulnewa Lake in Galnewa, according to the Daily Mail.

McClean was on vacation with friends in Sri Lanka when he separated from the group to use the restroom.

The lagoon is known to have crocodiles and is located yards away from Elephant Rock near Arugam Bay on the southeast coast of the country, The Sun said.

"He was walking on a beach where a small river meets the sea, it's named Crocodile Rock for that reason obviously".

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. He had worked for the Financial Times newspaper for two years after his graduation and had covered the European Union and Brexit.