Stressed worker sacked after wrestling shark

A British holidaymaker who tackled a shark on an Australian beach has been sacked after returning home because he was supposedly on sick leave.

Video footage captured Paul Marshallsea grabbing the shark’s tail as it swam towards paddling children, but his heroic act has resulted in him losing his job.

He and his wife Wendy, who work for the same children’s charity, were on sick leave for work-related stress when they took the two month holiday in Australia, and after viewing the footage, charity trustees decided that the couple had been dishonest and sacked them.

The dismissal letter 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.”

It added that the photographs and video caused a breakdown of the trustees’ confidence and trust in its employee, which was so great that dismissal was the only option.

Mr Marshallsea and his wife were given extended sick leave by the Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club, where they had worked for ten years and the pair used the leave to visit friends in Australia.

Commenting on the decision to dismiss him, he said:

“If I hadn’t gone in to save the kids on that beach that day my wife and I would still have a job.

“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.”

A spokeswoman on behalf of the trustees for Pant and Dowlais Boys & Girls Club said the charity was advised by its solicitors not to comment on the matter.