Shark-wrestling Grandfather sacked whilst on sick leave
In one of the strangest stories of the week with an employment slant, it transpires that a British man who was filmed wrestling with a shark on an Australian beach was actually on sick leave, and has subsequently been sacked for breach of trust.
Paul Marshallsea, 67, from South Wales, went on holiday to Australia with his wife on the advice of his GP. Mr Marshallsea has been away from his role as project coordinator for a charity since April last year.
However, during a barbecue on the beach in January, he grabbed the tail of a 6-foot shark after it was spotted near a group of children. His actions were caught on film. went viral and eventually came to the attention of his employers.
When Mr Marshallsea and his wife (who worked for the same charity and who was also on sick leave) returned to the UK they both found letters from that they had been dismissed.
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.
“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.”