Journalist Dies Horrifically in a Crocodile Attack

america
September 15, 2017

On Thursday, a crocodile killed a Financial Times journalist. Paul McClean, who was only 25, reportedly left his friends to go to the bathroom. While washing his hands in a lagoon in Sri Lanka, a crocodile apparently came up out of the water and pulled him into the water, reported NYPost

McClean had a bright future. He graduated from Oxford University with a honors degree in French in 2015. Shortly after, he joined the Financial Times as a writer. He covered Brexit and the EU for the publication. McClean was in Sri Lanka on a surfing holiday. 

“We’re all totally stunned. He was a great kid, super bright. It’s an absolute tragedy," said a colleague of McClean. 

Reports say he was last seen “waving his hands in the air,” desperately asking for help, before being dragged under the water. The attack happened at a lagoon called Crocodile Rock near Arugam Bay.

The lagoon—as can be inferred from the name—is known to be crawling with crocodiles. It's yards away from popular surf spot Elephant Rock on the southeast coast. 

The owner of the Safa Surf School, which is located up the coast from where the incident happened, told reporters that a fisherman witnessed the attack. 

“A local fisherman witnessed a man being dragged into a river, set back from the beach, by a crocodile. The fisherman was on the opposite side of the river and downstream of the incident location.”

However, he also added that this kind of attack is rare in the area.

“Crocodiles in Sri Lanka live only in the fresh, backwaters of the jungle. It is almost unheard of for them to come close to the beach. The salt water actually turns them blind.

Meanwhile, a Scottish tourist corroborated the fishermen's story. He described the situation. 

“A British tourist was at a surf spot called Elephant Rock...There’s a lagoon right next to the sea. He went to the toilet next to the lagoon and was grabbed by a crocodile.

He continued, "There are lots in the lagoon. People last saw his arms in the air in the water and then was grabbed under. I was there but didn’t see it happen though. Horrible." 

This isn't the first death from crocodile in the area. The NYPost reports that in April, a 13-year-old girl was drug into the water by a crocodile. Her family reported her missing after they saw her being dragged into the water by a very large reptile. 

Sri Lankan police and the army searched the area before finding his body on his Friday. 

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