Death investigations

Determination published following death of drowned fisherman

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) notes the conclusion of the Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Edison Lacaste.

Mr Lacaste, a 45-year-old Filipino national, died in the early morning of 18 February 2021 after an accident on board FV Copious LK985 after falling overboard in adverse weather while the vessel was trawling.  

The inquiry was a mandatory inquiry since the death of Mr Lacaste occurred while in the course of his employment.    


The purpose of an inquiry is to establish the circumstances of the death and to consider what steps, if any, may be taken to prevent other deaths in similar circumstances.   

Unlike a criminal trial, a Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAI) seeks to establish the facts surrounding the death and is not a hearing which apportions blame.    

The Procurator Fiscal led comprehensive evidence from witnesses and a range of sources on the facts and circumstances of Mr Lacaste's death and the safety processes in place on the vessel on which he was a crewman.  

The Sheriff noted the crew’s attempts to rescue their fellow crewman as quickly as possible and commended their bravery in doing so in such difficult circumstances. 

Following the publication of the determination, Procurator Fiscal Andy Shanks, who leads on fatalities investigations for COPFS said:  

We note and welcome the Sheriff’s determination.      

“The Procurator Fiscal ensured that the full facts and circumstances of Mr Lacaste’s death were led in evidence at the mandatory Fatal Accident Inquiry. 

“The Determination has been provided to the Lacaste family and our thoughts are with them at this time.”