If you saw the telltale dorsal fin of a shark in the shallows of the beach, you’d run away. Admit it. You might squeal in terror and pee a little in your trunks.
Paul Marshallsea did the opposite. When the British vacationer spotted a six-foot shark cruising off the Australian coast, he waded into the water, grabbed the toothy interloper by its tail and steered it away from children playing nearby.
News reports do not indicate whether he peed a little in his trunks.
Check it out. Paul’s the guy who falls in the water and momentarily seems doomed to dye the ocean red with his blood:
The guy’s a hero, right? He should be heralded around the world as a selfless savior of children, not to mention a bad-ass grappler of sharks.
Nope. He got fired from his job.
It turns out that Marshallsea was on sick leave from his job at a children’s charity in Wales, and probably wasn’t supposed to be basking on the sunny beaches of Australia.
His covert Down Under sojourn is somewhat forgivable, though, since he was on sick leave due to the stress of working seven days a week.
Nevertheless, upon his return to the U.K., he got a letter from his soon-to-be-former employer stating:
“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. The breakdown of the trustees’ confidence and trust in you and your ability to perform the role is so great that we find that dismissal is the only course of action we can recommend.”
Granted, perhaps he should have had a relaxing staycation in Wales instead of a shark-wrestling adventure in Australia. And if he was on a medical leave from his job, it’s pretty hard to accept that vacationing for two months (!) in beautiful Australia was exactly what the doctor ordered.
But he might have saved some children’s lives. You’d think the children’s charity he worked for might grant a bit more leniency.
Marshallsea’s former bosses shouldn’t expect to be saved from sharks by him, if the situation ever arises.