Wrestle A Shark, Become A Hero And Get Fired

shark
Back in January we showed this amazing video of a man wrestling a shark on a beach in Queensland, Australia.

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]

Video: Man Wrestles Shark On Australian Beach

Would you wrestle a shark? This British holidaymaker did when he spotted one close to some children on a beach in Queensland, Australia.

Paul Marshallsea, 62, grabbed the two-meter-long dusky shark by the tail and dragged it away from shore. As soon as it got in deeper water, the BBC reports, it turned on him and almost bit his leg.

Dusky sharks have the most powerful bite of any of the 400 shark species. While they aren’t considered one of the most dangerous varieties, they should be treated with caution.

Lifeguards and members of the coast guard were then able to lure the shark into a nearby creek with the hope that it would return to sea with the tide. They said the animal is probably sick and while they praised Marshallsea’s actions, they don’t recommend wrestling sharks.

Olympics-Inspired Man Attempts To Swim Across Atlantic, Only Makes It 300 Yards From Shore

Swimming across the Atlantic, just 3594 miles of open water.An unnamed British man was so inspired by the Olympics on Tuesday that he decided to attempt to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. He had planned to swim from Biarritz, France, where he was vacationing with friends, to New York City, saying he wanted to bring the “Olympic spirit” to America. He didn’t make it far, however, as lifeguards picked him up about 300 yards from shore, well short of the 3594 miles he would have needed to cover to reach his destination.

According to the Daily Mail, the 34-year-old man was vacationing with friends when he suddenly announced that he was setting off for America. His travel companions, thinking he was joking, watched as he immediately dove into the water and began swimming out into the ocean, continuing well past warning buoys that mark the limit for safe and legal swimming.

Those buoys are located about 300 yards from shore, which prompted lifeguards to scramble into action. A rescue helicopter was dispatched and a diver dropped into the water to convince the man to turn back. The headstrong Brit argued that he was a good swimmer and that he was capable of making an Atlantic crossing, but eventually he came to his senses and climbed aboard a small boat to return to shore.

Thankfully, the Olympics only come around once every four years. I’m not sure if this man’s friends and family could handle him getting inspired like this on a regular basis.

[Image courtesy the Daily Mail]

Swimming With Sharks And Sea Lions In The Galapagos Islands

sharks “Don’t freak out, but there are two huge hammerhead sharks right below us.”

My guide Jens’ attempt at having me “not freak out” over the two carnivorous beasts that are 10 feet away from my juicy calves only leads me to begin shrieking and jumping on his back. Soon, though, the sharks are gone, and nobody has been eaten.

“Sharks prefer sea lions and fish to people,” Jens explains. “They’ll only go for you if they’re confused.”

Thankfully, those two hammerheads seemed very understanding.

I am on the Galapagos Island of San Cristobal, taking a snorkeling tour of Isla Lobos, León Dormido/Kicker Rock and Puerto Grande. With its clear waters, white sand beaches, unique flora and fauna and playful sea lions, it’s hard to believe there could be a better paradise than this.

Our first stop is Isla Lobos. The site features a small but pristine island, and a protected channel known for its plethora of sea lions. Here, the visibility is amazing, as you could see every fish, sea turtle and sea iguana very clearly – almost too clearly.

“Do you see how those fish all come together and disperse with a lot of white things?” asks Jens. “That’s sperm. They’re making rock and roll.”sea lion I laugh, turning to tap my friend on the shoulder to tell her, just as she performs a very acrobatic flip out of the water. That’s when I realize it isn’t my friend, but a baby sea lion trying to play a game with me. Two minutes later, three of its friends join in. On land, blue-footed boobies, pelicans and frigatebirds abound. It’s amazing to look at the whole picture at once, as the marine and bird life seem to dance together on one stage.

Our next stop is Kicker Rock, a massive rock formation rising 500 feet out of the water and taking on the appearance of a león dormido, or sleeping lion. It’s also the site of my shark encounter. The guide tells me that sometimes there are almost 100 sharks, so only encountering six for the day isn’t a lot. As I’m used to encountering zero, I beg to differ. However, the Galapagos sharks, blacktip sharks, white tip sharks and hammerheads that reside near Kicker Rock, while large in size, are virtually harmless to humans.

That knowledge does nothing, however, to keep my blood from running cold every time one comes within 10 feet of me. Once we leave Kicker Rock, however, I realize how lucky I am to have had such a unique experience. And, along with the sharks, the Chocolate Chip starfish, sea turtles and an array of tropical fish and colorful corals remind me I’m in one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse places in the world.

sea turtle For lunch we make a stop at the serene beach of Puerto Grande. The food is great, a huge helping of rice with tender chunks of beef. Once we’ve digested a bit, the group descends into the warm, clear water and makes our way to the beach for a short informational hike. The beach is covered in hermit crabs, diverse pieces of shell and perfect white sand. Apparently, the sand gets its color from the chunks of white coral that lay upon the beach.

We make one more stop at Kicker Rock for a bit more snorkeling and diving – and more shark encounters – before heading back home. As I lay on the bow of the boat, bathing in the last of the day’s sunlight, I hear a loud splash in front of me. Looking up, a breaching whale jumps out of the water, and I slowly watch its tail sink back below. This place really is unlike any other on Earth.

If visiting the Galapagos Islands and interested in doing this tour, it was given by Dive Surf Club, although you can book through any agency as the whole island works together. The guides are hysterical, fun and have a lot of knowledge. It’s $50 to snorkel and $120 to dive, including naturalist guides, dive instructors, snacks, drinks and lunch.

[images via Barry Peters, NCBrian, Dive Surf Club]

Adventurer Prepares For Global Triathlon

Dan Martin prepares for his Global TriathlonBritish adventurer Dan Martin is about to embark on an epic challenge that he calls the Global Triathlon. The journey, which is set to get underway from New York City any day now, will see Dan circling the globe completely under his own power, and just like any other triathlon he’ll be swimming, cycling and running the various legs. In this case, those legs just happen to be substantially longer.

All triathlons, regardless of length, always start with a swim and Dan’s is no different. In this case, however, that swim involves crossing the Atlantic Ocean. He’ll first enter the water in the Hudson River and start heading east, continuing to do so until he makes landfall in France. Along the way, Dan will be escorted by a support boat, which is where he’ll sleep, eat and rest while en route. At the end of each day, he’ll crawl on to the boat, replace as many burned calories as he can and try to regain his strength for the next day, when he’ll return to the water and continue on.

To date, only one other person has managed to swim across the Atlantic. Back in 1998, French long distance swimmer Benoit Lecomte managed to accomplish that feat in just over 73 days. Lecomte’s efforts are contested by some, however, because he didn’t use a GPS to strictly track his progress. Dan hopes to allow others to follow his progress via his website, keeping the world updated on his position at all times.Once he does arrive in France the cycling stage of the journey will begin. Dan will climb aboard his bike and start peddling across Europe and Asia – in the dead of winter no less. If everything goes as planned he’ll eventually end the bike ride in the city of Anadyr, located in Russia’s far east. From there he’ll hop across the Bering Sea and start the finale leg of the Global Triathlon, running from Uelen, Alaska, back to New York City. When he’s done, Martin expects to have covered roughly 18,640 miles.

Dan actually thought that he would be underway by now, but a few logistical hiccups have prevented him from getting started on time. Nonetheless, he and his support crew are currently in NYC and they hope to have everything ironed out soon. You can follow his progress and updates both on his Facebook page and through his Twitter feed.

Good luck Dan!

[Photo courtesy Dan Martin]