Welsh grandfather Paul Marshallsea saved Australian beachgoers from a potential shark attack while vacationing in Queensland in January, but the heroic act wasn’t enough to save his job.
Marshallsea, 62, can be seen on the now-viral video pulling a six-foot shark away from the shore after it made an unwelcome appearance at Caloundra Beach.
Beachgoers were grateful, according to Wales Online, but Marshallsea’s employer, the Welsh charity Pant and Dowlais Boys & Girls Club, was not.
Marshallsea, who was project coordinator for the charity, and his wife, Wendy, 56, a senior youth worker and event manager there, were both unceremoniously fired after being caught traveling abroad when their employer believed they both were on sick leave because of work-related stress. The charity stated that the couple had not been into work since last April, according to My Fox 8.
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Marshallsea told Wales Online that after years of service to the charity, he and his wife are disappointed by the firing.
“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 tapped me on the back. Where do I now get a job? There’s not much call for shark-wrestlers in Merthyr Tydfil,” said Marshallsea.
The couple told Wales Online that they traveled to Austrailia after a doctor advised a holiday. They were enjoining a barbeque with friends when they heard the cries about a shark. Marshallsea was reportedly one of the two men who were almost bitten after grabbing the shark’s tail to encourage it to swim back out to sea.