A NSW surfer and father of three, who was killed in a surfing accident in Indonesia, died doing something he loved, his friends say.
Australian surfer Ronald Stephen Schneider died around 6pm local time on Tuesday after he was slammed into rocks by a wave off the Mentawai Islands off Western Sumatra.
Mr Schneider, 54, a painter by trade, was a well-known boardrider in the close-knit community of Sawtell, south of Coffs Harbour.
President of Sawtell Boardriders, Mark Hodgson, says the 54-year-old surfer was a “quiet and gentle soul” who was “deeply loved within the community”.
“Everyone is very shocked,” Mr Hodgson told AAP on Friday.
“He has been living in the community since he was a young kid and been part of Sawtell Boardriders for as long as anyone could remember.
“He was one of the first ones at the beach every morning, so he died doing something that he loves and does every day.”
Mr Schneider was reportedly in Indonesia on a surfing trip with a group of friends, who were all members of the Sawtell Boardriders.
Mr Schneider’s brother-in-law, Michael Greenwood, posted a tribute: “You went out in the best way possible. Surfing in a beautiful tropical location, you always had a way about you”, as reported on News Ltd.
Another friend, Kevin Joseph Cramer, described Mr Schneider with his “sparkling blue eyes, a ready laugh, (and) always a kind word … He was a true water brother”.
Close friends, family and members of Sawtell Boardriders plan to celebrate Mr Schneider’s life with drinks at the headland in the local surfing town on Friday afternoon, Mr Hodgson said.
The department of foreign affairs is providing consular assistance to Mr Schneider’s family, as authorities in Indonesia prepare to send his body home to Australia.