When most beach-goers hear cries of "SHARK!" coming from the water, they panic à la "Jaws." But when Paul Marshallsea hears that warning, he apparently clicks into Superman mode.
The 62-year-old Welsh grandfather was on vacation at Australia's Bulcock Beach in Queensland recently, when a siren sounded to alert tourists of a shark in the water. Marshallsea sprinted to the surf, an area he later described to the BBC as "shallow for about five or six yards, and a lot of babies and toddlers splash[ing] about there," adding, "it could have been very nasty."
At that point, he told the BBC, "My instincts took over."
Marshallsea and Terry Dale, a wildlife rescuer, attempted to grab the six-foot-long shark and push it back out to sea. Marshallsea took hold of the shark's tail, but the shark had other plans.
"When I dragged the shark to just over knee-deep, he turned on me and just missed me with a bite. It nearly took my leg off in a split second. It was that quick," Marshallsea said, according to HuffPost UK.
"People might say it was a stupid thing to do," he explained to Wales Online. "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.”
He told the paper he could see the shark's two-foot-long newborn shark pups swimming between his legs as he attempted to rescue the animal.
The creature was later identified as a dusky whaler shark, a species considered potentially harmful to humans, though few attacks have ever been reported.