Employers saw footage of Paul Marshallsea tackling shark when he was on sick leave
A British holidaymaker who grappled with a shark as it swam towards children in Australia claims he has been dismissed from his job in the UK because he was supposed to be relaxing on sick leave at the time of his feat.
Paul Marshallsea, 62, was hailed a hero and made headlines around the world after seizing the shark by the tail when it started heading towards youngsters paddling in the shallows.
But on his return to south Wales, Marshallsea found he had lost his job at a children’s charity because trustees had seen the footage of him tackling the two-metre-long shark.
His dismissal letter read: “Whilst unfit to work you were well enough to travel to Australia and, according to recent news footage of yourself in Queensland, you allegedly grabbed a shark by the tail and narrowly missed being bitten by quickly jumping out of the way.”
The trustees of the Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club said there had been a “breakdown in trust” between them and Marshallsea.
He said: “What am I going to do now? There’s not much call for shark-wrestlers in Merthyr Tydfil.” Marshallsea had been off work because of stress and was spending time with friends in Australia. They were having a barbecue on the beach when they spotted the shark. A television crew filming nearby captured pictures of him grabbing the animal and leading it out into deeper water.
Marshallsea said that if he had not tried to help he would still have a job. “You’d think they would have patted me on the back and congratulated me. I never thought for one minute that wrestling with a shark would cost me my job.”
A spokeswoman for the club said lawyers had advised it not to comment but she confirmed Marshallsea had left.
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