Tags: hero | grandpa | fired | shark

Hero 'Grandpa' Fired after Video Surfaces of Him Pushing Shark from Kids

Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013 02:45 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A British man hailed as a hero was fired from his job after a video surfaced of him pushing a six-foot shark away from swimming children on Australia's Sunshine Coast in January. The reason? The 62-year-old was supposed to be on sick leave at the time of the incident.

Paul Marshallsea, of Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, says he and his wife were fired from their jobs at the Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club after their bosses saw the footage online.

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Marshallsea and his wife reportedly decided to take sick leave for work-related stress after being so heavily involved with the children's charity, sometimes even working seven days a week. They took the time off to travel to Australia for some much needed rest and relaxation.

While on the beach one day, Marshallsea says he heard cries of "Help, shark!" He waded into the surf and dragged a 6-foot dusky shark away from the nearby paddling children while spectators filmed the encounter on their cell phones.

But when the couple returned to Britain, they each received a letter dismissing them from their positions at the charity. Marshallsea's employer claimed he and his wife broke trust as employees by going on vacation while on sick leave.

"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 photographs and footage appearing in newspapers and television broadcasts," the letter to Paul Marshallsea said.

Marshallsea was outraged at being fired.

"You think being in charge and running a children's charity, they would have patted me on the back and congratulated me, but to sack us both without any sort of discussions first is just disgusting," he told the Telegraph. "What am I going to do now? There's not much call for shark-wrestlers in Merthyr Tydfil."

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Related links:

Great White Sharks: California's Endangered Species Act Protects Predator

Beaches Closed by Thousands of Migrating Sharks Off Florida Coast

Floating Robot Helps Track Great White Sharks

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