“The key role we play after such an incident is being there as someone to
talk to, someone who understands what the days ahead will look like. There is no disguising the trauma and shock involved with losing a friend to the sea and if we can help we will.”
Filipino fisherman Joseph Edison Lacaste lost off Shetland vessel ‘Copious’ LK985.
THURSDAY: My mobile rings at 4:35am on a bitterly cold February morning.
My colleague has been contacted by Shetland Coastguard and informs me of a crewman overboard from ‘Copious’ LK985 30 miles south east of Sumburgh Head. A major incident is declared with the casualty airlifted to the hospital in Lerwick.
By 5:00am I’m at the landing site as the helicopter transfer gets underway.
Tragically, news later arrives that the fisherman has not survived. The
Copious is heading for home and due to dock at 10:00am.
I spend three hours with the traumaised crew who behin to speak about about te loss of their friend
Greeting the boat as it ties up, I speak to the skipper before boarding to meet the crew. All are deeply shocked
and can barely speak of the incident. Returning later, I spend three hours with the traumatised crew who begin to speak about the loss of their friend.
I keep in contact with the skipper that evening and the following day as the Police and maritime authorities continue their enquiries.
SATURDAY: Visiting the boat again and I’m particularly concerned about the two Filipinos on board who are understandably the most shaken of all the crew. My priority is to get them off the boat to recover. They have slept little and are exhausted. I’m also anxious to support the skipper as he is carrying a lot of stress. Later that evening I return to assist the crew move into a flat I’ve booked ashore.
SUNDAY – TUESDAY: I speak with the boys first thing this morning – they’re looking better and have been able to sleep. Investigations continue and I support the skipper and crew through difficult and stressful days.
“The key role we play after such an incident is being there as someone to talk to, someone who understands what the days ahead will look like.
There is no disguising the trauma and shock involved with losing a friend to the sea and if we can help we will.”