Man jailed after crossing Irish Sea on jet ski to see his girlfriend 2 years ago

Man jailed after crossing Irish Sea on jet ski to see his girlfriend

That's got to be worth five stars on GTA.

A man has been jailed after crossing the Irish Sea on a jet ski to see his girlfriend on the Isle of Man.


The Isle of Man's Douglas Courthouse heard how he breached strict Covid-19 restrictions. The man was subsequently jailed for four weeks.

28-year-old Dale McLaughlan from North Ayrshire in Scotland admitted it was the first time he'd ever driven a jet ski.

However, last Friday, his maiden voyage saw him set sail from his home in the Isle of Whithorn, arriving four-and-a-half hours later at Ramsey, Isle of Man.

Ramsey is a small village on the isle, roughly 15 miles from the capital Douglas.


McLaughlan admitted to the court that he arrived unlawfully on the island, as he was jailed for four weeks.

Due to strict Covid-19 protocols in place, non-residents have to gain a special permit before they are allowed to set foot on the Isle of Man.

The Isle of Man TT race passes through Ramsey. (Photo: Getty)

McLaughlan told the court he had previously been given permission to enter the Isle of Man in September to carry out some work as a roofer. After self-isolating for 14 days, he said he then met his girlfriend.

He made a number of subsequent attempts to legally return to the Isle of Man, but all were rejected. McLaughlan then took matters into his own hands, by jumping on a jet ski for the first time.

After having his applications to return rejected, the court heard how McLaughlan then bought the jet ski. He then embarked on the journey, which took about 40 minutes to cross the Irish Sea.

He arrived in Ramsey at 1pm, and, displaying energy The Proclaimers would be proud of, then walked around 15 miles to his girlfriend's home in Douglas.


She had been working on the island for a short while. The next day, police arrived at her address in Douglas, but McLaughlan said he lived there too.

Later that day, the pair went to two packed nightclubs on the island, which the court heard was breaking Covid-19 restrictions.

Police arrested him on Sunday after verifying his identity.

A lawyer for McLaughlan said the 28-year-old was suffering from depression after not being able to see his girlfriend.