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Hero grandpa fired after saving children from shark (+video)

Hero grandpa fired? Yes, a British man vacationing in Australia, was fired after he returned home a hero. Paul Marshallsea, a grandpa, dragged a shark off a beach during his vacation.

By StaffAssociated Press / March 13, 2013


A 62-year-old British man – a grandpa who became an Internet sensation after wrestling with a shark on an Australian beach – says he was fired after his employer discovered he'd been abroad while on sick leave.

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Paul Marshallsea was filmed yanking a six-foot- (1.8-meter-) long shark away from waders at Caloundra beach near Brisbane in January.

Many called him a hero. But his intervention also caught the eye of his employer, the Pant and Dowlais Boys & Girls Club, a Welsh charity. Marshallsea had been on leave since April after saying he was suffering from work-related stress.

The couple told WalesOnline they were devastated after returning home from Australia – refreshed and ready to start work – to find a letter of dismissal from Pant and Dowlais Boys & Girls Club.

In a letter to Mr Marshallsea, the club said the footage appeared to show the 62-year-old had returned to health. The 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; the photographs and footage appearing in newspapers and television broadcasts.”

Marshallsea also WalesOnline he was unhappy at his treatment, adding that his doctor had advised him to take a vacation. “If I hadn’t gone in to save the kids on that beach that day my wife and I would still have a job."

Marshallsea is the father of three and a grandfather of one.

A man who answered the phone at the charity Wednesday said no one was immediately available for comment.

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