A fatal accident inquiry is to be held into the death of a fisherman who fell overboard in adverse weather.

Edison Lacaste, 45, from the Philippines, went overboard from the FV Copious LK985 while the vessel was trawling in the Shetland area in the early hours of February 18, 2021.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has lodged a First Notice to begin the court process for a mandatory Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) into Mr Lacaste’s death.

It said the inquiry will explore the circumstances of his death, with particular focus on the wearing of restraining straps on lifejackets and the legislation in relation to them.

The coastguard received a Mayday call from the vessel at 3.20am on Thursday February 18, 2021 and Lerwick RNLI lifeboat and a coastguard helicopter went to the scene around 30 nautical miles south-east of Sumburgh, Shetland.

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Mr Lacaste was recovered from the water and flown to Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick, but his death was later confirmed by police.

Procurator Fiscal Katrina Parkes, who leads on death investigations for COPFS, said: “The death of Edison Lacaste occurred while in the course of his employment and as such a Fatal Accident Inquiry is mandatory.

“The lodging of the First Notice enables FAI proceedings to commence under the direction of the Sheriff.

“Mr Lacaste’s family will continue to be kept informed of significant developments as court proceedings progress.”

A preliminary hearing will take place on May 19 at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

The purpose of an FAI includes determining the cause of death, the circumstances in which it occurred, and establishing what reasonable precautions could have been taken, in order to minimise the risk of future deaths in similar circumstances.

Unlike criminal proceedings, FAIs are inquisitorial in nature, and are used to establish facts rather than to apportion blame.