Jet Ski Romeo: Man breaks COVID-19 restrictions to cross Irish Sea to see girlfriend, police say

A man from Scotland has landed behind bars after he took a personal watercraft to break COVID-19 restrictions just to see his girlfriend.

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Police said Dale McLaughlan was working on Isle of Man as a roofer for only four weeks in September, BBC News reported. That’s when he met his girlfriend.

After the time ran out he had to return home. McLaughlan had requested to return to the island but those requests were rejected.

So McLaughlan decided to buy a Jet Ski-like personal watercraft and make the journey from the Isle of Whithorn to Ramsey across the Irish Sea.

The trip is only 25 miles, so he thought it would take him 40 minutes. Instead, the man who had never been on a watercraft like the one he bought, took more than four and a half hours Friday, BBC News reported.

He then walked 15 miles to his girlfriend’s home. She thought he was still working on the island. At one point he was in contact with police and gave authorities his girlfriend’s address. The couple also visited nightclubs Saturday night.

One thing police said he didn’t have was a permit to be on the island, Unilad reported.

Police arrested him Sunday after checking his identity.

McLaughlan’s attorney said his client was depressed and couldn’t cope without seeing his girlfriend.

The courts said McLaughlan made a “deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate” the restrictions and put the community at risk.

McLaughlan admitted he broke the restrictions and was sentenced to jail for four weeks, Unilad reported.

His mother spoke to The Sun, saying that she had no idea that her son had gone on the trip. She thought he was going in mid-January for work.