Labor & Employment

Did shark wrestler abuse sick leave? Fired worker says doctor told him to take a vacation

Hailed as a hero for wrestling a 6-foot shark away from children wading on an Australian beach, a 62-year-old British man is now without a job.

After seeing footage of the incident on the Internet, his employer, a Welsh charity, fired him, saying in a letter to Paul Marshallsea that he had abused his sick leave, the BBC News reports.

In a letter shown to the BBC, the trustees of the Pant and Dowlais Boys & Girls Club told Marshallsea: “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 appeared in newspapers and television broadcasts.”

A second letter said he is being recommended for dismissal, Marshallsea tells the news agency.

Marshallsea, who said he is on leave due to work-related stress, told the BBC he had been advised by a doctor to take a vacation.

A spokeswoman said the charity had been advised by its solicitors not to comment.

A Daily Mail article links to a video of the shark incident.

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