Death investigations

FAI court process begins for the death of drowned fisherman

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has lodged a First Notice to begin the court process for a 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. 

A preliminary hearing is set for 19 May 2023 at Lerwick Sheriff Court.    

Preliminary Hearings and Dates of Inquiry (     

The purpose of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) includes determining the cause of death; the circumstances in which the deaths occurred, and to establish what, if any, reasonable precautions could have been taken, and could be implemented in the future, 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.     

This Inquiry will explore the circumstances of Edison Lacaste’s death, with particular focus on the wearing of restraining straps on lifejackets and the legislation in relation to them. 

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.”