The UK Coastguard has now called off the search for the missing fisherman, who fell overboard from a boat off Orkney.

The man, who was on a fishing vessel, Apollo, was reported overboard 20 miles off the north-west coast of Orkney, Scotland.  The crew made the report via a Mayday broadcast at around 7am on 18 April.

Search and rescue helicopters based at Sumburgh and Stornoway were deployed to search the area.

UK Coastguard Commander Tris Newey reported that the search off Orkney by the helicopters and the crew of the Apollo had been carried out in “very rough weather and challenging conditions”.

They were joined later by multinational Naval units, who are currently in north Scotland on a joint military training exercise. A French Dassault Falcon and a US P8 Poseidon fixed wing aircraft both took part in the efforts to find the missing fisherman.

The search was eventually called off by the UK Coastguard at around 4.30pm following the agreement of the crew of the Apollo.

Speaking as the search was stood down, the UK Coastguard Duty Controller, Angus MacIver said: ‘Despite an intensive air and sea search involving the fishing vessel and aircraft rescue resources from Scotland and international military agencies, the missing man has not been located. The fishing vessel is returning to harbour and our deepest sympathies are with the family and remaining crew.’

An investigation into the incident by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and Police Scotland is now underway.