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The man who was jailed after crossing the Irish Sea on a jet ski to see his girlfriend on the Isle of Man 'can't even swim', according to a family source.
As reported by MailOnline, 28-year-old Dale McLaughlan, from Irvine, North Ayrshire, is going to miss Christmas with his two kids after being given a four-week jail sentence.
The roofer, who bought a £5,000 jet ski to travel from Scotland to the Isle of Man, thought the journey would only take him 40 minutes. But when he got there, he'd been travelling for more than four hours, and had only 10 minutes worth of fuel left.
He then walked 15 miles to his girlfriend's house but was arrested while he was out drinking on Saturday night.
When police visited her house on Sunday, it was confirmed that he lived permanently in Scotland and had breached Manx Covid-19 laws.
According to the newspaper, the source said he was shocked that Mr McLaughlin managed to make the journey, saying he is 'a nice lad, but thick as a brick'.
The source added: "The craziest thing is he can't even swim."
But jail and his near-death experience are the least of his worries, with the Mail reporting that his mother isn't pleased with his exploits.
The contractor's mum Allison told the newspaper: "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 jet ski. I just don't know why he did it - he could have killed himself."
She added: "He'll be missing his kids over Christmas."
McLaughlan met his partner on a night out in September, when he was legally working on the island for four weeks.
According to the BBC, prosecutors said McLaughlan had expected the journey on Friday to take him 40 minutes, but it ended up taking four-and-a-half hours.
Under the Isle of Man's current laws, the only non-residents allowed to enter are those who have been given special permission.
McLaughlan had been granted permission previously to work as a roofer on the island for four weeks in September, having isolated for 14 days before meeting his girlfriend on a night out.
The court was told that his partner believed he had been on the island working for several weeks.
His defence lawyer said in court that he suffered from depression, and had not been coping without being able to see his girlfriend.
Sentencing, Deputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said McLaughlan had potentially put the community at risk by making a 'deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate' the border restrictions, adding that the 'carefully planned' journey also put him 'at very real risk' of harm.
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