Double Life – John Duggan

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John Duggan is a local firefighter and owner of Action divers. When he’s not putting out fires, he’s under water. Read about John’s extraordinary Double Life

Full name?

John Duggan.

Time spent living in the Manning?

My wife and I made the sea change 12 years ago when our first son was one. We’ve now added another son and daughter, and it was the best move we have ever made.


Scuba Diving Instructor and owner of Action Divers, owner of Ocean Quest Deep Sea Fishing Charters and a retained Firefighter with NSW Fire Brigade.


Diving and fishing. With a job as good as mine, who needs other hobbies?

How would you describe the industry you are in?

The ocean is my office. When I’m fishing above it, I have to fight the dolphins for the fish. When I’m diving below it, I can’t hear myself think for the whale song! Tough life…

In the Fire Brigade it can be anything from fighting fires to abseiling down cliffs, rescuing people from cars to helping the elderly with their smoke alarm batteries (don’t forget to change them every 12 months).

Describe your home and work environment?

Work is adrenaline charged while home is my sanctuary with my family.

When do you swap your wetsuit for a NSW Fire Brigade uniform?

I’m on call 24/7 with the Fire Brigade, so if I’m on dry land and a call comes in, I’ll be there. Off goes the wetsuit, and on goes the fire suit.

What are some of the struggles you face in your jobs?

Trying to convince others that it’s a real job … no seriously, I battle the weather on a daily basis, whether it’s too rough, too windy, the visibility is not great etc. In summer I battle with time, usually working between 14 to 18 hours a day over the Christmas holidays. When my kids are on holidays, I’m flat out, so it’s a struggle between work/life balance. Being a rescue fireman can be difficult when there is not a happy ending.

Your highlights?

So many … On the grand scale, Action Divers winning the North Coast Tourism Awards for Excellence was great. Purchasing Ocean Quest Fishing Charters added a whole new dimension and would have to be a highlight. Joining the Fire Brigade in 2001 fulfilled a personal dream. I also love introducing people to the underwater world and watch as their fear turns to amazement; that’s very rewarding.

Why would you not change your current circumstances for the world?

We live in paradise. I have the best job in the world. I have a great family. In the Fire Brigade I have the chance to make a bad situation a little better. What more could I want?

Do you ever feel like you live a double life?

Quadruple life actually: diver, fisherman, fireman and family man.

Life motto?

I have two mottos I stick by. The first is the 7 Ps – proper planning and preparation prevent p*** poor performance. The second is dare to follow your dreams – work hard, stay focused and anything is possible.

Thank you John.

Special thanks to Strut PR.


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