British Grandfather Wrestles Shark in Oz

Jonathan Samuels, Australia Correspondent

An heroic British holidaymaker helped wrestle a 2m (6ft) shark off the Australian coast to stop beachgoers being attacked.

Paul Marshallsea, 62, from Wales, was on a month's break with his family when the shark swam right up to swimmers and children paddling on the shore on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

A local TV crew, which was on the beach filming another story, captured the moment when Mr Marshallsea and two other men  ran into the water and grabbed the shark in an attempt to get it to swim away.

At one point the shark is seen thrashing about in the water as Mr Marshallsea tries to stop it lunging at beachgoers. It eventually breaks free, pushing one of the other men over.

The grandfather, from Merthyr Tydfil, told Wales Online: "We got hold of his tail and pulled with all our might to get the shark back into deep enough water so that the poor thing could survive.

"While I was pulling the shark by the tail back into deeper water her 2ft-long babies were swimming through my legs. They must have got lost and marooned by the shallow sand banks and got beached.

"But the trouble was when we got the shark to just over knee deep it then turned on us and just missed me with a bite which was a fraction away from my leg.

"A shark that one minute ago was so docile now just nearly took my leg off in a split second - it was that quick."

Holidaymakers and locals watched as the men tried to persuade the distressed dusky whaler shark to head back out to sea. 

Lifeguards on the beach advised the men to stay clear of the shark, but in the end the man helping Mr Marshallsea managed to push it out to deeper waters.

Lifesaver Luke Turner was on duty at the time and told Sky News: "A shark beaching itself means one of two things, it wants to die because it is either really sick or because it’s really hungry."

Tourist Tash Kimlin was with her family at Bulcock Beach when the drama happened.

She shouted out to her two young children when the alarm was raised.

"It was pretty scary, yeah, I was just calling out to them and they couldn't really understand what I was saying," she said.

The dusky shark, which reaches 4.2m (14ft) in length and weighs 347 kg (765 lb), is considered dangerous to humans and has been known to attack.

It has a slender, streamlined body and can be identified by its short round snout, long sickle-shaped pectoral fins, the ridge between its first and second dorsal fins, and faintly marked fins.

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