This morning it was reported that British surfer and FT journalist Paul McClean was grabbed and dragged away by a crocodile whilst on a surf trip to Sri Lanka.
The incident occurred at Arugam Bay, a well known tourist hotspot famed for its long friendly right handers.
McClean was reportedly washing his hands in the lagoon, named Crocodile rock by locals, when witnesses saw him waving his arms as he was dragged away.
“The Army were down there and there are people out on boats checking the shore because the crocodile won’t eat anything in water; they will take it onto dry land to eat their prey.” A fellow tourist in the area told the Mirror.
This morning divers found mr McClean’s body buried deep in the mud in a lagoon in the coastal village of Panama, close to where the attack occurred.
“There were six or seven wounds on his right leg,” a police official said to the Agence France-Presse news agency.
Crocodile attacks in the area are rare as in Sri Lanka as the animals only live in the fresh, back waters of the jungle, and so do not often come into contact with vast number of surfers who visit the area. There have however been a few noted attacks around the areas many rivers and lakes, including one in April of this year, where a 13-year-old girl was dragged away and one last July where a 60 year old Sri Lankan fisherman was killed.
Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr McClean.
Cover photo: Matt Francey