Many panic attacks are based on phobias.
Acrophobia or altophobia, the fear of heights, would prevent the sufferer from climbing or using a ladder. When the sufferer is placed in a high place and the sufferer looks down, for example, looking down the side of a cruiseship, a panic attack can easily be triggered. The sufferer will want to run down from the high place or will go into a panic and fall over the guardrails to his or her death.
In a storm on a cruiseship, a claustrophobic who is suffering from severe motion sickness alone inside a cabin may go into a panic.
An aquaphobic or hydrophobic who is thrown into a swimming pool may go into panic.