HE was hailed a 'hero' by the British press, but a pensioner who grappled with a shark in Queensland has been sacked after it emerged he was on sick leave with stress.
Paul Marshallsea, 62, waded in to the surf and grabbed the two-metre shark by the tail amid fears it would attack paddling children.
The charity worker, from Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, claims he risked his life at the beach at Caloundra, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, in January when he was hailed a hero.
"Where this shark actually came ashore, it is shallow for about five or six yards, and a lot of babies and toddlers splash about there - it could have been very nasty," he later told the BBC.
"My instincts took over and I just grabbed the shark by the tail."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.