Sri Lankan navy divers have found the body of a British journalist who is believed to have been attacked by a crocodile while holidaying with friends on an eastern beach.
- Paul Stewart McClean went missing in a lagoon near city of Panama on Thursday
- Officials told his friends he was believed to have been attacked by a crocodile
- The 24-year-old journalist had previously been posted to Brussels
Police said Paul Stewart McClean, a reporter for the Financial Times, went missing in a lagoon near the city of Panama on Thursday afternoon.
They said McClean was reported missing after he had walked some distance away from his friends.
The Financial Times said on its website that officials told his friends he was believed to have been attacked by a crocodile.
The cause of death is yet to be established.
Officials in the British embassy in Colombo have been informed, police said.
Panama beach, about 300 kilometres southeast of the capital, Colombo, is famous for surfing and other beach sports.
James Lamont, the Financial Times’ managing editor, described McClean as “a talented, energetic and dedicated young journalist” who had “a great career ahead of him.”
The 24-year-old was previously posted to Brussels, where he wrote several exclusives on the possible far-reaching effects of Brexit.
“Paul was an inspiration to us all in the Brussels bureau, turning out some of the most original, insightful and deeply researched journalism on Brexit since the referendum,” said FT Brussels bureau chief Alex Barker.
“He had a rare gift: an eye for hidden stories, writing flair and the charm to make people tell him anything and everything.”
The lagoon near Panama where Paul Stewart McClean’s body was recovered. (AP: Chandana Liyanaarachchi)