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Fiji Time: 8:32 PM on Sunday 31 August

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Grandad the hero

Daily Mail
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A British holidaymaker grabbed a six-foot shark by its tail and dragged it away from a group of toddlers as they played in shallow water off the coast of Australia.

Paul Marshallsea, 62, was praised by the coastguard after he rushed from a beach-side barbecue to keep the children safe. The encounter was caught on camera by a nearby TV crew.

The grandfather said: 'Where this shark actually came ashore, it's shallow for about five or six yards, and a lot of babies and toddlers splash about there. It could have been very nasty.

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

Mr Marshallsea, from South Wales, said he was lucky to escape the encounter without injury.

"He turned on me and just missed me with a bite," he revealed. "The shark nearly took my leg off in a split second, it was that quick."

He added that he acted to save not only the playing children, but also the shark itself.

"I know it was dangerous but it almost looked beautiful — you have got to have respect for a beautiful animal. People might say it was a stupid thing to do, but when you see a beautiful beast struggling to survive up close and personal you somehow tend to respect it and want to help it.

"I got hold of his tail and pulled with all my might to get the shark back into deep enough water, so that the poor thing could survive.

"Her two-feet-long babies were swimming through my legs. They must have got lost and marooned by the shallow sand-banks and got beached."

The incident was caught on camera by a TV crew that happened to be filming at the popular tourist spot, Bulcock Beach, on Australia's Sunshine Coast in Queensland.


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