British Journalist Dies After Crocodile Drags Him While Taking Surfing Lesson In Sri Lanka.
On Thursday, that shocking demise befell Paul McClean, a 25-year-old British journalist for the Financial Times, who was on a surfing holiday in Sri Lanka. McClean had ventured down the beach from Elephant Rock, a surf spot near Arugam Bay, to find a toilet. While he was washing his hands in the lagoon, a crocodile reportedly dragged him into the water.
A Scottish tourist on the scene told The Guardian, “There are lots [of crocs] 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 90% sure it was a crocodile but a couple of the guys said there was quicksand in the lagoon.”
The Guardian reports that the body was found on Friday with “six or seven wounds on his right leg. The body was stuck in mud at about the same place where he was seen last by some others who were with him.”
Crocodile attacks are rare in Sri Lanka, but not unheard of. Authorities often warn residents and tourists to steer clear of marshy areas, especially during monsoon season. And that particular body of water, right near a popular surf spot, is known to be teeming with crocs.
As for surfing, Sri Lanka’s emerging scene is still blossoming. Over the years, intrepid surf tourists have made the numerous point breaks in the Arugam Bay region a popular vacation zone. From heavy-hitters like John John Florence and Nat Young, to beginners like McClean who was staying at a surf resort minutes from the attack, surfers are beginning to trickle in.
Thoughts and prayers to Paul McClean’s family and friends.