Lockdown-breaking dad travels 25 miles on jet ski across sea to visit girlfriend

A dad who travelled across the sea on a jet ski to visit his girlfriend has been jailed for breaking Covid restrictions.

Dale McLaughlan, 28, made the 25-mile trip from Whithorn, Dumfriesshire, to the Isle of Man on Friday December 11.

He initially believed the journey would take him just 40 minutes but it took an astonishing four-and-a-half hours to cross the Irish Sea.

The island’s Douglas Courthouse heard McLaughlan arrived safely on the island and then walked 15 miles to the town of Douglas where his girlfriend lives.

It emerged McLaughlan was previously given a four-week pass to work as a roofer on the island but his application to return was rejected.

He then took matters into his own hand and made the trip by jet ski but police caught up with him and after identification checks, McLaughlan was arrested.

The 28-year-old’s defence lawyer said he suffered from depression and was struggling being without his partner.

McLaughlan admitted arriving unlawfully on the island at Douglas Courthouse and was jailed for four weeks.

Deputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said McLaughlan had made a "deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate" border restrictions.

He said the "planned" journey put the community and the 28-year-old at a "very real risk of harm."

McLaughlan's mum Allison said she didn't know about the jetski and slammed her son as he could have "killed himself.

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Speaking from her home in Irvine, Ayrshire, Allison said: "He was supposed to be going over for work but as far as I know they put it off till January 11.

"I didn’t even know about the jetski.

"I just don’t know why he did it – he could have killed himself.

"He’ll be missing his kids over Christmas."

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