Lovesick man pictured on five-hour jet ski ride to Isle of Man that got him jailed


Dale McLaughlan, 28, from Irvine, Ayrshire, had never ridden a water scooter before when he broke coronavirus rules by setting out from Isle of Whithorn to Ramsey

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A man who rode a jet ski from Scotland to the Isle of Man to see his girlfriend has been jailed for breaching Covid regulations.

A court heard Dale McLaughlan, 28, had never ridden a water scooter before when he set out from Isle of Whithorn to Ramsey.

He reckoned the 25-mile crossing would take 40 minutes, but in rough seas it took almost five hours.

He left at 8am on Friday and after eventually reaching Ramsey, he walked 15 miles to girlfriend Jessica Radcliffe’s home in Douglas.

Under Covid rules, non-residents must get special permission to enter the Isle of Man.

Dale McLaughlan arriving at the Isle Of Man


Noel Corlett)

McLaughlan, from Irvine, Ayrshire, admitted arriving unlawfully and was jailed for four weeks.

Douglas court heard how McLaughlan had been given special dispensation to work on the island as a roofer in September.

It was here, after isolating for 14 days, that he met Jessica on a night out.

He applied twice for another permit to visit, but was turned down.

The 28-year-old had never ridden a water scooter before

Dale was keen to see Jessica



After arriving in Douglas he was stopped by a police officer the following afternoon and he gave his girlfriend’s address as his own and that evening the couple went to two busy nightclubs.

But he was arrested the next day by police after they carried out identification checks.

He went the extra mile to get there – and then some



Appearing via a videolink, McLaughlan said he had a negative Covid test before his trip, and while on the island.

McLaughlan’s defence argued he suffered from depression, and was struggling being unable to see his partner.

Deputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said McLaughlan had purposely and intentionally tried to get around the restrictions of the Isle of Man, potentially putting the community at risk.

A government spokesman said following an investigation, public health officials were “satisfied” there was no wider risk to the public.

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