Trump-Era Panicked Scuba Divers
Now that I come to think of it, it was stupid for me to be such a contrarian during Trump's administration.
Never approach someone in the middle of a panic attack head-on, even if you're trying to calm them down or lighten their load.
As a PADI Divemaster, I was trained never to approach a panicked Scubadiver face-on because they will most likely rip off my mask and tear out my second stage and we'll both drown. And, even if I weren't a trained Divemaster, everyone always shoots the messenger. Every time. I was all the shot all the time.
If that panicked diver threatens to bolt to the surface, risking decompression sickness (the bends) or a lung overexpansion injury, you're supposed to stay beyond arm's length and look at the eyes and look for panic. Try to calm from over an arm's length.
Then, if they look like they're going to bolt, come around the back and grab their tank tightly to prevent them from ascending too quickly, risking injury. But, be sure to keep your hoses and mask and self away from flailing arms and hands.