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Court / Inquiry into death of fisherman to be held in January

Edison (Joseph) Lacaste died when he fell overboard from the whitefish trawler Copious on 18 February 2021.

A FATAL Accident Inquiry into the death of a fisherman who fell overboard from a local whitefish trawler will be heard at Lerwick Sheriff Court in January next year.

Edison Lacaste, known as Joseph, died in the early hours of 18 February 2021 after he fell overboard from the Copious LK985 while the vessel was trawling 30 miles southeast of Sumburgh.

The Filipino national lost his balance in swell whilst looking to carry out a repair to trawl gear, according to a report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

Although the 45-year-old was quickly brought alongside the vessel after falling into the sea, the crew’s attempts to recover him back on board were unsuccessful.

The in-person inquiry will get underway on 22 January and is expected to last up to three days. Initially it had been hoped to hold the inquiry in October.

A preliminary hearing on Friday heard that a large amount of evidence has been capable of agreement.

At the centre of the inquiry will likely be the handling and correct use of lifejackets.

The Crown’s representative David Glancy told the hearing on Friday that every effort had been made to contact the deceased’s widow in the Philippines.

However, as no acknowledgement of these efforts had ever been received, Sheriff Ian Cruickshank agreed with the conclusion of the Crown that “her silence is eloquent of her not wanting to participate in this hearing”.

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