Reporter is eaten by a crocodile while washing his hands near beach resort

Image: Screenshot

A reporter for the Financial Times was killed by a crocodile in Sri Lanka when he washed his hands in a lagoon where the beast was lurking.

Paul McClean, 25, was looking for a bathroom and had wandered away from bis group, the Sun reported.

McClean was seen desperately “waving his hands in the air” for help as he was pulled underwater by the animal at a lagoon dubbed Crocodile Rock.

Officials are searching the area for any sign of his body, if it was not devoured by the crocodile.

Local residents said that McClean was staying at the East Beach Surf Resort before he was attacked.

“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,” Safa Surf School owner Fawas Lafeer said.

“This is the first known crocodile attack in Sri Lanka. Both tourists and locals surf at Elephant Rock, which is a beautiful secluded beach and very safe,” he said.

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

Image: Shutterstock

“Local search and rescue teams are working alongside the police and British Embassy in attempt to locate the man’s body,” he added.

A Scottish tourist, who asked to remain anonymous, described the horrifying scene.

“A British tourist was at a surf spot called Elephant rock,” The Scot said.

“There’s a lagoon right next to the sea. He went to the toilet next to the lagoon and was grabbed by a crocodile.

“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.

“They are searching for a body but haven’t found anything yet.

“The army were down and there are people out on boats checking the shore because crocodiles won’t eat anything in water – they will take it on to dry land to eat prey.”

The Scottish tourist said that some people believed that it was quicksand, and not a crocodile that got McClean.

“They are 90 per cent sure it was a crocodile but a couple of the guys said there was quicksand in the lagoon,” the tourist told the Sun

“A few people that knew the guy were just on the ground, I didn’t get that close but they all just seemed in shock and not saying much.

“There were a large crowd of Sri Lankan men surrounding them and they had bits of paper.”

In April a 13-year-old girl was attacked, and dragged from her family, by a crocodile in Sri Lanka.

And in July 2016 a 60-year-old man was killed in a crocodile attack in the island nation off the coast of India.

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Carmine Sabia


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