Traumatic Stress Reactions in the Crew of the Herald of Free Enterprise

  • S. Janet Johnston
Part of the The Plenum Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)


On March 6, 1987, the British ferry, the Herald of Free Enterprise, with 545 passengers and crew on board, capsized in the English Channel shortly after leaving the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. One hundred and ninety-three people lost their lives in Britain’s worst maritime disaster in peacetime since the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Three bodies are still missing. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the Social Services Department of Kent County Council set up a special unit named (after the ferry) the Herald Assistance Unit. Its mission was to coordinate the caring response to all those affected by the disaster and to provide special coverage for Southeast Kent, where the crew and company were based.


Social Service Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Crew Member Shipping Company Caring Response 
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  1. Kent Council Social Services. (1987). Coping with a major personal crisis. Kent, England: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Dyregrov, A. (1988, August). Critical incident stress debriefing. Paper presented at the First European Conference on Post-Traumatic Stress, Lincoln, England.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Janet Johnston
    • 1
  1. 1.Dover Counselling CentreDoverEngland

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