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Int J Emerg Ment Health. 2003 Winter;5(1):3-14.

A maritime disaster: reactions and follow-up.

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  • 1Center for Crisis Psychology, Febrikkgaten 5, 5059 Bergen, Norway. atle@uib.no


In 1999, 69 people survived a maritime disaster on the Norwegian coast, during which 16 others died. Besides immediate psychosocial assistance, post-disaster intervention included psychological debriefings after one week, follow-up debriefing a month later, screening of those in need of individual help, and help for those returning to the scene of the disaster. The results of the psychometric tests showed that a considerable number of survivors scored above clinical cut-off points for extreme stress reactions. These results were compared with results from other studies of maritime disasters. Although the life threat and exposure in this disaster were extreme, the scores were lower than for the other studies, with one exception. The authors concluded the lower distress scores compared to other maritime disasters were probably impacted by the structured and caring system that was implemented to care for survivors. Almost all (93%) considered the debriefing meetings as helpful, and they were able to discriminate between different functions served by the meetings.

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