Thursday 21 September 2017

Hero who saved children from shark gets the sack

Rob Hastings

When a holidaymaker was filmed wrestling with a shark in Australia as it threatened children playing on a beach, the online footage went around the world and he was hailed as a hero.

Unfortunately for Paul Marshallsea, on sick leave at the time, his bosses at the children's charity that employed him saw the video – and he has been sacked for breach of trust.

Mr Marshallsea (62), from Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, had been away from his role as a project co-ordinator at the Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club since last April. He claims he and his wife Wendy (56) went on holiday on the advice of his GP, having become so heavily involved in the club that he was sometimes working seven days a week.

They had been enjoying the beach outside Brisbane in January when they heard cries of "help, shark!". The charity worker argues that he risked his life when he grabbed the 6ft shark by the tail, amid fears it would attack paddling children – leading to the film by a local news crew going viral.

But when they arrived home, Mr Marshallsea and his wife – who worked for the same charity and was also off ill at the time – found letters informing them that they had been sacked.

Mr Marshallsea says he is "disgusted" by the way he has been treated and that instead he should have been congratulated for his feat of bravery.

"If I hadn't gone in to save the kids on that beach that day, my wife and I would still have a job," he said. "Where do I now get a job? There's not much call for shark wrestlers in Merthyr Tydfil." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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