When 28-year-old Scotsman Dale Mclaughlan was denied entry into the Isle of Man to visit his girlfriend because of pandemic restrictions, he bought a PWC to access the British Crown dependency, situated in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland, according to a report in The New York Times.
Mclaughlan, who purchased the PWC last Thursday, departed at 8 a.m. for what should have been a 40-minute trip from Scotland, but difficult sea conditions stretched the passage to more than four hours.
After reaching the island and walking 15 miles to his girlfriend’s home, he was arrested for violating Isle of Man’s coronavirus restrictions. He later admitted to authorities that he’d never ridden a PWC.
“This individual was aware of the law and showed a flagrant disregard when they chose to break it, mixing in the community and potentially putting lives at risk,” said Howard Quayle, Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, according to the newspaper.
The island, which has not had a locally transmitted case of Covid-19 for more than six months, is closed to non-residents.
“On the Isle of Man, we’re all for ingenuity,” Quayle said. “But unfortunately, this was an incredibly reckless, dangerous endeavor, which could have ended very differently given the time of year.”