A British man has died in Sri Lanka after being attacked by a crocodile, his employer has confirmed.
Paul McClean, 24, from Thames Ditton, Surrey, was dragged into a river near Arugam Bay, witnesses have said.
Fawas Lafeer, owner of the nearby Safa Surf School, told BBC Radio 5 live the man was washing his hands in the river when he was attacked.
He said: “Fishermen saw him attacked by the crocodile and then screaming to the surfers to come and help.”
Mr McClean was an Oxford University graduate who was working as a journalist for the Financial Times (FT).
The FT said he was a “talented, energetic and dedicated” journalist with an eye for hidden stories.
A colleague of Mr McClean’s told the Daily Telegraph.: “We’re all totally stunned. He was a great kid, an Everton fan, super bright. It’s an absolute tragedy.”
Mr Lafeer, whose surf school is 800 metres from where the incident took place, said the Sri Lankan Navy retrieved a body from the river at around 20:45 local time.
He said two fishermen tried to save Mr McClean.
“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,” he said.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are assisting the family of a British man who has died in Sri Lanka.”