15/09/2017 09:16 BST

Financial Times Journalist Paul McClean Feared To Be 'Killed by Crocodile' In Sri Lanka

'A joy to be around.'

Financial Times journalist Paul McClean has died following what is believed to have been a crocodile attack in Sri Lanka 

A reporter at the Financial Times is believed to have been killed by a crocodile while on holiday in Sri Lanka. 

Staff at the newspaper on Friday paid tribute to Paul McClean, who joined the publication as a graduate trainee two years ago, describing him as “warm, funny and talented”.

Reports suggest that the 24-year-old was last seen “waving his hands in the air” after being seized by a reptile at a lagoon called Crocodile Rock. 

The Oxford-educated journalist was said to have gone to the area for a surfing lesson and had wandered off from friends when he was dragged underwater.

The Financial Times on Friday reported that McClean’s friends had identified his body and that his cause of death was yet to be established.

However, the newspaper stated it was believed McClean had been attacked by a crocodile. 

The Foreign Office has not released McClean’s name or confirmed details surrounding his death, but said: “We are assisting the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Sri Lanka.”

James Lamont, the FT’s managing editor, has said the newspaper is “liaising closely” with McClean’s family and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

“Our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones. We are in touch with them, doing all we can to help during this difficult time.” 

Lamont described McClean as “a talented, energetic and dedicated young journalist” who had “a great career ahead of him at the FT”.

At the time of his death McClean was a member of the fastFT team in London, he said.  

Katie Martin, head of fastFT, described McClean as “a warm, funny person and a talented young journalist with a curious mind . . . a joy to be around, truly, with an impish sense of humour”.