Scotland-Isle of Man water scooter crossing arrival caught on camera

Scotland-Isle of Man water scooter crossing arrival caught on camera

The arrival of a man who travelled from Scotland to the Isle of Man on a water scooter to see his girlfriend was caught on camera, it has emerged.

Dale McLaughlan admitted breaching the island’s Covid-19 laws by making the journey and was jailed on Monday.

Pictures of his arrival in Ramsey harbour emerged as the island’s chief minister condemned his actions.

Howard Quayle said the 28-year-old’s four-week sentence sent “a strong signal” to potential lawbreakers.

He said McLaughlan, who took four-and-a-half hours to travel from the Isle of Whithorn to Ramsey on Friday, had shown a “flagrant disregard” for the island’s coronavirus laws.

McLaughlan, from Irvine in North Ayrshire, made the 25-mile (40km) crossing despite having never driven a water scooter before and then walked a further 15 miles (25km) from Ramsey to Douglas.

The Isle of Man border is currently closed to almost all non-residents and under emergency laws, those who break the rules face up to three months in jail or a fine of up to £10,000.

Although there are currently four active Covid-19 cases, the island is considered to be free of the virus as all are in isolation and there is no community spread.

With the exception of the border closure, life on the island has gone back to normal for most people – there is no social distancing and large gatherings, including Christmas lights switch-on events, are permitted.

Mr Quayle said he was “astonished” by McLaughlan’s “incredibly reckless, dangerous endeavour”, which could have led to “others being called upon to risk their lives in a search and rescue operation”.

He said the 28-year-old had been aware of the law and “showed a flagrant disregard [by] mixing in the community and potentially putting lives at risk”.

“I hope this sends a strong signal to others who do not take our laws seriously or who are mistaken in thinking that the rules do not apply to them,” Mr Quayle added.

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