Boyfriend who crossed Irish Sea on a jet ski jailed for breaking Covid rules

Dale McLaughlan made the journey from Scotland to the Isle of Man to visit his girlfriend

LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT, GOSPORT - MAY 20: Members of the public enjoy the sunny weather and relaxed government restrictions as they Jet Ski as the sun sets on May 20, 2020 in Lee-On-The-Solent, England . The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
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A man who crossed the Irish Sea from Scotland to the Isle of Man on a jet ski to see his girlfriend has been jailed for breaking coronavirus restrictions.

Dale McLaughlan, 28, made the four-and-a-half hour journey from the Isle of Whithorn to Ramsey on Friday afternoon.

McLaughlan, from North Ayrshire, made the crossing despite never having driven a jet ski before, the BBC reported.

The Isle of Man, located between the UK and Ireland, only grants entry to non-residents who have special exemptions.

McLaughlan admitted entering the island unlawfully and was jailed for four weeks. The court heard McLaughlan thought the journey would only take 40 minutes.

After arriving on the island, McLaughlan walked 15 miles to his girlfriend’s home in Douglas, the capital.

Prosecutors said the 28-year-old gave his girlfriend’s address to a police officer when the officer asked where he lived. He then visited two nightclubs with his girlfriend, but was arrested the following day when police made identification checks.


Deputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said McLaughlan had made a "deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate" the border restrictions, potentially putting the community at risk. He said the "carefully planned" journey had also put the 28-year-old "at very real risk" of harm.

Authorities on the Isle of Man later said there was no harm to the community.