Bridge Resource Management – What is in a word?
Daniel S. Parrott, Professor of Marine Transportation, Maine Maritime Academy
The 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention have been described as the most sweeping overhaul since the convention first came into being. The Manila Amendments deal with the full spectrum of marine operations, including engineering. But they also contain several new competencies that fall under aegis of Bridge Resources Management. Among these is a requirement that officers demonstrate “Knowledge, Understanding and Proficiency in Assertiveness and Leadership.” Most people have an idea of what is meant by leadership, but what does the IMO mean by “assertiveness”? Why has the world body chosen this word, and given equal status to knowing how to plot a position? What are we to make of it and what are we to do about it?
Parrott grew up in Connecticut and started his professional sailing career in 1982. He sailed full
time from 1983 to 2003 during which time he worked on many schooners, topsail schooners, and
square-riggers, in all capacities, in all parts of the world. Among those vessels are the Harvey
Gamage, Bill of Rights, Pride of Baltimore, Pride Baltimore II, Eye of the Wind, and Tole Mour.
In 2003 he was appointed to the faculty of Maine Maritime Academy where he now teaches
navigation, seamanship and Bridge Resource Management, and sails aboard the training vessels
State of Maine and schooner Bowdoin. He is the author of two books, Tall Ships Down, a study of 5 marine casualties involving sailing ships, and Bridge Resource Management for Small Ships
which applies BRM concepts to the operation of limited tonnage vessels. Parrott was a member
of the working group that collaborated with Sail Training International and the Nautical Institute
to develop the International Sail Endorsement, introduced in 2014. Parrott holds a USCG license
Master of Oceans, 1600 tons, and 2nd mate unlimited. He has a B.A. from Colby College,
Waterville Maine, and an M.A. from the University of Rhode Island. Interests include maritime
history and traditional seamanship.