Dad who crossed Irish sea from Scotland to Isle of Man to see girlfriend 'can't even swim' & had 10 mins of fuel left

A DAD who crossed the Irish sea from Scotland to the Isle of White on a jet ski to see his girlfriend “can’t even swim”, his family revealed today.

Lovesick Dale McLaughlan, 28, had just ten minutes of fuel left when he arrived at the island's Ramsey harbour on Friday afternoon after a bonkers 4.5 hour trip.

The Romeo roofer was jailed on Monday after he admitted arriving unlawfully in breach of Manx Covid rules in a desperate bid to see hubby Jessica Radcliffe.

He will spend four weeks locked up for the stunt – and miss Christmas with his two children in Irvine, North Ayrshire.

A family source told MailOnline that the roofer’s perilous journey was even more remarkable as he “can’t even swim”.

The insider said he was a “nice lad” but was “thick as a brick” after it emerged that McLaughlin thought the journey would take just 40 minutes – when it in fact took five hours in rough weather conditions.

A police source also told iomtoday that McLaughlan had just 10 minutes of fuel left in his tank when he arrived.


The building contractor’s mum Allison was left raging after her son’s bonkers venture, and said: “He could have killed himself.”

She added: “I just don’t know why he did it. He’ll be missing his kids over Christmas.”

Sentencing him at the island’s Douglas Courthouse, Deputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said he made a “deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate” the border restrictions.

He also stressed that he put himself “at very real risk” of harm with the crossing.

The day before his bonkers sea trip, McLaughlan had bought a jet ski and towed it 70 miles from his Irvine home to a beach on the Isle of Whithorn.

The court heard he had never driven a jet ski before embarking on the journey to Ramsey.

He then walked 15 miles to his sweetheart’s home in Douglas – after struggling being apart for months.

On Saturday, he told police his girlfriend’s address was his own, before the pair partied at two busy clubs.

He was then nicked on Sunday following ID checks.

The roofer, who worked on the isle in September, made the plan after his latest work permit was rejected.

Public health officials last night said they are “satisfied” there is no risk to the public.

The Isle of Man's current Level 4 Covid system allows those residents to make non-essential journeys beyond the island, but they must self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

Those who don't live on the island must complete a registration form and be granted an entry certificate to be allowed in. 

There have been just 373 confirmed Covid-19 cases on the Isle of Man since March, with four current cases – none of which are in hospital.

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