How far would you travel for love? In a bizarre and quite unfortunate series of events, a man who travelled 40km on a jet ski to see his girlfriend has been jailed. The Scottish man who had never before ridden a jet ski broke the UK’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions in order to make the journey which has now seen him sentenced to jail. 

It is unclear where the perpetrator Dale McLaughlan had ascertained the jetski from and whether it was a stolen or rented vehicle, but it is the potential spreading of the virus that has got the man in trouble. 

The twenty eight year old McLaughlan who lives in North Ayrshire on the Scottish mainland had been desperate to see his girlfriend who lives on the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man (or Mann) is a self-governing island situated in between Scotland and Northern Ireland in the Irish sea. It is a relatively small island with a population of just over 84,000 people, all of which the restrictions on non-residents from visiting the island without special permission were set to protect. 

McLaughlan reportedly met his girlfriend whilst working on the island as a roofer back in September 2020. The love bug must have struck strong as by the middle of December, having been separated by the coronavirus, McLaughan made the desperate attempt to return to his new partner via jetski despite never having ridden a personal watercraft before. 

Lawyers for the man say he expected the journey to take roughly 40 minutes yet, unfortunately for him, it turned out to take four and a half hours instead. After arriving in the island’s second largest town Ramsey in the north of the isle, he then walked 25 km, roughly 15 miles, south to the capital of Douglas to find his lover.

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