A 62-year-old British man who became an internet sensation after wrestling with a shark on an Australian beach says he was fired after his employer discovered he'd been abroad while on sick leave.

Paul Marshallsea was filmed yanking a 1.8-metre-long shark away from waders at Caloundra beach near Brisbane in January.

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Paul Marshallsea, 62, wrestled a shark away from an Australian beach in Jan. (YouTube)

But his intervention also caught the eye of his employer, the Pant and Dowlais Boys & Girls Club, a Welsh charity. Marshallsea had been on leave since April after saying he was suffering from work-related stress.

Marshallsea told local news website WalesOnline he was unhappy at his treatment, adding that his doctor had advised him to take a vacation.

A man who answered the phone at the charity Wednesday said no one was immediately available for comment.