Man on sick leave wrestles shark, loses job

If you're on sick leave due to stress, you might want to lay low and keep out of the limelight, especially if you're vacationing in Australia with your wife, who also happens to be on sick leave.

Sadly a Welsh couple just learned that valuable lesson, all because the husband saved a group of children by wrestling a shark in the surf. ITN News has the story:

Paul Marshallsea and his wife of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, had been on sick leave since April due to work-related stress. Certainly a day at the beach in Australia would help their condition.

Well, the couple was vacationing in Australia in January when Marshallsea went into the surf, grabbed a shark by the tail, and pulled it away from the shoreline and a group of children. He was hailed a hero.

He made the news in Australia and, unfortunately, also back in Wales.

Upon returning home—"refreshed and ready to start work," according to WalesOnline—the couple found a letter of dismissal from Pant and Dowlais Boys & Girls Club.

shark wrestler 2

"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, [with] the photographs and footage appearing in newspapers and television broadcasts."


Turns out, the couple traveled to Australia to visit friends last December after doctors advised them to go on holiday, according to Marshallsea. They were enjoying a barbecue with friends when they heard cries of "Help, shark!"

"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 told WalesOnline. "You think being in charge and running a children's charity, they would have tapped me on the back.

"Where do I now get a job? There's not much call for shark wrestlers in Merthyr Tydfil."

No, but perhaps Queensland could use a full-time shark wrestler.