Ausgrid employee and North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club legend receives surf boat honour

Name honour: Ausgrid employee and North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club legend Barry Schuetrumpf with the surf boat named after him. Picture: Supplied

Name honour: Ausgrid employee and North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club legend Barry Schuetrumpf with the surf boat named after him. Picture: Supplied

For North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club legend Barry Schuetrumpf, the thrill of rescuing someone from the water is akin to his day job of restoring power to storm-ravaged homes.

The Ausgrid Emergency Service Officer (EMSO) supervisor has seen it all during his long career and said there was definitely a striking parallel between his day job and his voluntary role as a surf lifesaver.

"You go to some jobs and you can see the panic in people's eyes when they've got no power and they've got kids or they're elderly and they've got medication that needs refrigeration," he said.

"It's the same panic in people's eyes when you're carrying out a rescue.

"Definitely a look of vulnerability and they're just praying and hoping you can do something to help them.

"When we restore power for a customer most of them are just so thankful."

While Barry's day job involves making areas safe and restoring power after severe storms, such as the tornado that ripped through Kurnell in December 2015, his voluntary role sees him pluck people from the water.

He said his training as an Ausgrid employee helped prepare him for surf lifesaving.

Barry says one of the rescues that stands out in his mind took place in 1976.

The then-apprentice electrician had organised a carnival at North Cronulla, but on the day there were huge seas.

"It was the elite competitors in the Nutrigrain carnival," he said.

"Any other carnival it just would have been cancelled but because we knew these guys were elite, we knew they could handle it.

"It had all finished and we were packing up and there was just me and one of the council lifeguards left on the beach and just up the road at Elouera you could see a few people in difficulty.

"So, we grabbed a rubber ducky, which was still on the beach ... it was the last thing we were packing away, and we went out and rescued three of them.

"One of them was pretty bad and needed resuscitation when we got to the beach."

After 32 years with North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club, Barry, now 60, recently received the ultimate accolade when a new surf boat was named after him.

North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club president Geoff Budd said Barry, or 'Bazz' as he is affectionately known, was a true legend of the beach and deserving of the honour.

"He's quietly spoken and a true gentleman who has competed at the highest levels of surf boat rowing, representing not only North Cronulla in many finals, but also NSW and Australia," he said.