Shark video 'hero' sacked: he was supposed to be sick
Paul Marshallsea was on stress leave when he was filmed 'wrestling' a shark on a Queensland beach
A BRITISH man hailed as a "hero" in January after a video showed him hauling a shark away from children at an Australian beach, has been sacked from his job for "dishonesty".
The footage of Paul Marshallsea grabbing the shark's tail as it swam towards children at Bulcock Beach in Queensland went viral. But the 62-year-old from Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales is now out of work, because the children's charity that employed him says he was on sick leave for work-related stress at the time.
In a letter sent to Marshallsea, the charity said: "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 video had caused a breakdown in the charity's confidence and trust in Marshallsea's ability to "perform", the letter said, and the only option was dismissal. Marshallsea's wife, Wendy, who worked for the same charity and was also on stress leave, was sacked too.
Marshallsea told the Daily Telegraph his future looks bleak. "What am I going to do now? There's not much call for shark-wrestlers in Merthyr Tydfil."