Wales

Shark wrestler: Welsh tourist Paul Marshallsea to the rescue in Australia

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Media captionPaul Marshallsea helped to drag the dusky whaler shark away from people on the Sunshine Coast's Bulcock Beach.

A Welsh holidaymaker has been hailed a hero for wrestling a shark that was swimming towards children on a beach in Queensland, Australia.

Paul Marshallsea, 62, from Merthyr Tydfil, grabbed the two-metre long shark by the tail on Bulcock Beach and dragged it out to deeper water.

He narrowly missed being bitten as the shark suddenly lunged at his leg.

Dusky sharks of this type are considered potentially dangerous to humans, according to experts.

Mr Marshallsea said: "When I got the shark to just over knee deep he turned on me and just missed me with a bite.

"The shark nearly took my leg off in a split second - it was that quick," said Mr Marshallsea.

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Media captionRadio Wales' Good Evening Wales presenters Gareth Lewis and Nelli Bird spoke to Mr Marshallsea in Australia.

He managed to jump out of the way as the shark writhed and splashed in the water.

The dramatic scene at the beach on the Sunshine Coast was caught on video by an Australian TV news team filming nearby.

The father-of-three was enjoying a barbecue with his wife Wendy, 56, daughter Rachel, 21, and friends when he heard cries of "shark".

He sprinted to the shoreline and found the shark in shallow water close to where toddlers were paddling.

The holidaymaker said: "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.

Image caption Mr Marshallsea said his "instincts" took over and he grabbed the shark's tail

"My instincts took over and I just grabbed the shark by the tail.

"I know it was dangerous but it almost looked beautiful - you have got to have respect for a beautiful animal."

Helicopters and lifesavers on water bikes later lured the shark out to sea with the tide.

An Australian coastguard spokesman said: "We don't recommend manhandling sharks but this gentleman did a great job."

Mr Marshallsea, a former coal merchant, was instrumental in setting up the Engine House Project, a children's club, in Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil.

Image caption Mr Marshallsea with his wife Wendy and daughter Rachel

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