Holidaymaker says he has lost job after saving children from shark in Australia

Employers saw footage of Paul Marshallsea tackling shark when he was on sick leave

Paul Marshallsea made headlines around the world after seizing the shark by the tail in Queensland, Australia. Photograph: Jeffrey L Rotman/Corbis

A British holidaymaker who grappled with a shark as it swam towards children in Australia says 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 as 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.”

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