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Sri Lankan crocodile attack victim

A British reporter died in a crocodile attack in Sri Lanka

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A British journalist has died after in Sri Lanka after getting attacked by a crocodile, his employer confirmed Friday.

The Financial Times reported that Paul McLean, 24, is believed to have been assailed by the animal but a final cause of death has not been determined.

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones,” James Lamont, the FT’s managing editor, said in a statement. “We are in touch with them, doing all we can during this difficult time.”

[McLean was] a talented, energetic and dedicated young journalist,” he added of McLean, who was a month away from his 25th birthday. “[He had] a great career ahead of him at the FT.”

Some Twitter users on Friday voiced sympathy for McLean, who reportedly hailed from Thames Ditton in Surrey, Great Britain.

Witnesses on Friday told the BBC that McLean was dragged into a river by a crocodile near Sri Lanka’s Arugam Bay.

Fawas Lafeer, who owns the nearby Safa Surf School, told BBC 5 Live that McLean was attacked while washing his hands in a river there.

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“Fishermen saw him attacked by the crocodile and they screamed to the surfers to come and help,” he said.

“By the time they went to the spot where the croc attacked, they couldn’t save him because already the crocodile had pulled him inside the water so they couldn’t see what was going on,” Lafeer added.

“This is the first time somebody has died in this river … we have had three attacks on the fishermen. [But] they did not die, they were injured.”

Local police said McLean’s body was found in a lagoon by a Sri Lankan Navy search team, and the BBC reported that a Sri Lankan judge will conduct an inquiry into his death.

Arugam Bay is a popular surfing location in south eastern Sri Lanka, according to the BBC, and is roughly 4 miles north of Lafeer’s surf school at Elephant Rock.

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