Jet ski Romeo 'felt like crappy James Bond' as he got lost on terror ride across Irish Sea but says 'I did it for love'
A JET SKI Romeo caged for crossing the Irish Sea to meet his girlfriend on the Isle of Man says he felt like a "crappy James Bond" as he was battered by huge waves.
Roofer Dale McLaughlan, 28, made the treacherous 4.5-hour trip from Irvine, Scotland to the island earlier this month to see girlfriend Jessica Radcliffe.
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The pair had met just weeks earlier – but smitten Dale forked out £5,500 for a jet ski so he could travel the 27 miles between them.
He set out for the trip on December 11 believing it would take just 40 minutes.
But he finally arrived at Ramsey harbour with just ten minutes of fuel left after the treacherous four-hour trip.
Cops then arrested him – and he was jailed for breaking Covid rules, beforefinally being released three days early in time for Christmas.
Dale told the Sunday Mirror he'd been "crazy" to undertake the whopping trip.
“As soon as I hit open water I thought ‘Oh my God’. It was like getting a kick in the teeth," he said.
“It was terrible. It wasn’t fun.
"I followed the GPS, but after half an hour a massive wave wiped it away.
"I didn’t have a clue where I was going.”
Non-residents need permission to visit the island after the outbreak of coronavirus.
Dale, who met Jessica in a pub, applied for the licence on compassionate grounds, but was turned down.
Despite strict penalties of three months in jail of a £10,000 fine for breaching the rules, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
“The first time I’d even stood on a jet ski was in that harbour. It was 27 miles from that point to the Isle of Man. I knew the jet ski could do 52mph," he told the paper.
"I thought it’d take 45 minutes. I tried checking maps and oceanic currents, which I didn’t have a clue how to read."
But after facing fog and six-foot waves, Dale admits he was "scared" – and lost.
“The water was black and was getting in my eyes and mouth. But the thought of Jessica kept me driving on," he said.
He finally arrived on the island hours later – but had no idea he'd been photographed arriving.
He was then arrested at Jessica's house, and says he was "caught red-handed".
After serving eight days in prison, Dale was sent home for the festive season.
He was also slapped with a no entry certificate that bars him from entering the Isle of Man again.
"I broke the law. But I did it for love," he said.
"I wouldn’t say I regret it, but I’m sorry for whatever stress I’ve caused. I should never have done it. It could be called a crime of passion.”
Dale now hopes to marry Jessica, who has already said she'd say yes.
She said: “I love Dale.
"How could I not after what he did?
"I would like to marry him, but not this year. He’s got to get over here first – legally this time."
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