Published Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Paul Marshallsea, 62, was filmed wading into the surf and grabbing the 6ft dusky shark by the tail.
Although not the biggest of the sharks found off the Sunshine Coast, dusky sharks are considered dangerous to humans and have been known to attack.
During the efforts to help the distressed shark reach deeper waters, Paul narrowly avoided being bit - but he said that he felt he had to intervene in case some of the children were attacked.
We don't recommend manhandling sharks, but this gentleman did a great job.
Despite by praised for his actions by locals and lifeguards in Brisbane, when he and his wife - who also worked for the same charity and was also on sick leave - returned home to Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, they were both told they had been sacked.
"Whilst unfit to work, you were well enough to travel to Australia," the letter of dismissal read.
"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 charity said that "a breakdown of trust" meant dismissal was the only option.
Paul and his wife say they took the holiday to visit friends in Australia last December on medical advice, having suffered work-related stress.
They explained that they felt they had been victims of their own success - having worked hard for the benefit of the charity, but with their achievements actually increasing their workload and stress.
"We created a whip to hit our own backs. It grew so big and we didn't realise. There was no stopping it," Paul said, adding that they had been working up to seven days a week before taking sick leave.
Where do I now get a job? There's not much call for shark wrestlers in Merthyr Tydfil.
But now, both he and his wife have found themselves out of work.
"If I hadn't gone in to save the kids on that beach that day, my wife and I would still have a job," Paul told WalesOnline.
"You think being in charge and running a children's charity, they would have tapped me on the back."