Career Path: Adam Parnell, CHIRP Maritime


In our special column this month, we are pleased to host an interview with Mr. Adam Parnell, Director (Maritime), CHIRP, who says that the maritime career offers many opportunities for personal and professional growth and advises us to start actively network and invest in lifelong learning. Regarding security incident reports, Mr. Parnell says the photo is missing; in this regard, CHIRP Maritime focuses on data sharing partnerships.

SAFETY4SEA: How did you join the shipping industry and your area of ​​expertise in particular?

Adam Parnell: I have always loved the sea, I spent my youth canoeing, dinghy sailing and scuba diving. Once I reached the age of 19, I joined the Royal Navy, first as an engineer, but later became a deck officer so I could command ships. After 26 years in the Navy, I became a harbor master to keep this link with the sea, it’s in my blood, I think!

S4S: What excites you most about your current job/role and why?

PA: Leading the Maritime CHIRP program and advocating for seafarer safety is extremely rewarding. I have learned a lot from investigating the reports we receive through our confidential incident reporting system and engaging with international regulators and other maritime institutions to influence better safety outcomes.

S4S: When you think of the word success, who is the first person that comes to mind and why?

PA: It’s tough – a maritime career offers so many opportunities for personal and professional growth as well as incredible life experiences. I think that the growing diversity of people entering the profession is also a real success story (even if there is still a long way to go!)

S4S: Who is/was the most influential person/mentor for you and why?

PA: I learned a lot from those I was fortunate enough to work with, many of whom remained lifelong friends. The best advice I ever got was to push my limits and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because sometimes failure can be the best teacher.

S4S: What is the most interesting professional investment (in energy, in time, in money) that you have ever made?

PA: Never stop learning and improving your own education. In particular, learn a second language – any language – it keeps your brain active, expands your cultural understanding and (bonus!) you might one day go somewhere where they speak it

S4S: If you could give your 18 year old one piece of advice, what would it be and why? What advice should you ignore?

PA: Don’t forget to take photos to remind yourself of the amazing things you’ve done (and to convince others that you’re not making it all up!). And ignore the inner voice of self-doubt. And above all, don’t ask about the goat’s skull in the curry. Don’t.

S4S: Over the past five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your professional life?

PA: I started to network consciously and actively. I’ve found it very rewarding to connect people, especially those working in different disciplines, as often their different viewpoints provide that creative “spark” when solving problems.

S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of ​​expertise in particular and why?

PA: Security incident reporting is too fragmented – many organizations do this, but no one joins the dots and the big picture is lacking. CHIRP Maritime is actively addressing this issue by developing cross-organizational data sharing partnerships.

S4S: What is your personal motto?

PA: Whenever I’m faced with a new challenge, my mantra for me is “How hard can it be?”

The views presented above are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAFETY4SEA and are for the purpose of information sharing and discussion only.


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