The Welsh Sexagenarian who made international headlines after he was caught on camera using his bare hands to drag a 6-foot dusky shark away from children bathing in the ocean off Australia's Sunshine Coast revealed this week that he had been fired from his job at a children's charity after his bosses saw footage of his heroic actions.
Paul Marshallsea, 62, says he had been busting his hump for the past ten years as project coordinator for the Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club, and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown when a doctor advised him to go on vacation.
He and his wife, also an employee of the charity, decided to take a couple months of sick leave and travel to Australia for some much needed R&R.
But despite allowing him to take a leave of absence, his employers apparently expected Marshallsea to remain local, because news footage of the Merthyr Tydfil native fending off sharks in Queensland sent them off the deep end.
"Whilst unfit to work you were well enough to travel to Australia," the charity's trustees wrote in Marshallsea's dismissal letter, "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."
A second letter claimed that the incident led to a "breakdown of the trustees' confidence and trust in you and your ability to perform the role."
"You think being in charge and running a children's charity, they would have patted me on the back and congratulated me," Mashallsea said. "But to sack us both without any sort of discussions first is just disgusting."
The irony of it all, according to Marshallsea, is that he and his wife were the ones responsible for making the charity so successful that it ultimately became too time-consuming and stressful to manage.
"What am I going to do now?" he asked. "There's not much call for shark-wrestlers in Merthyr Tydfil."