Paul Marshallsea, 62, became an Internet sensation when he pulled the 2-meter-long dusky shark away from swimmers. Unfortunately for him, fame came at a price.
Marshallsea has been fired from his job as a project coordinator at the Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club in Wales. In a letter quoted by the BBC, the club trustees said that although he was on sick leave during the incident he had apparently been healthy enough to wrestle a shark. The hint being, of course, that he was faking his illness.
Marshallsea objects that he wasn’t on sick leave for a physical ailment, but for work-related stress.
In a statement on their website, the club states that he was dismissed for a “variety of issues” unrelated to his holiday in Australia.
It’s a case of he-said, they-said and it’s difficult to see who’s right since the club is refusing to make any further statement to the press. You think they could have cut the guy some slack, though. If he can wrestle sharks, he can probably handle a bunch of Welsh kids.
[Photo courtesy SeaWorld, Queensland. The shark-wrestling incident did not involve a SeaWorld shark]