THE girlfriend of a romantic roofer jailed for crossing the Irish Sea on a jet ski to see her says she will marry him – if he asks.
Healthcare worker Jessica Radcliffe has had messages from all over the world supporting her "heroic" boyfriend, after he made the treacherous 4.5 hour trip to see her.
Lovesick Dale McLaughlan had just ten minutes of fuel left when he arrived at Ramsey harbour – after he assumed the journey would take just 40 minutes.
The 28-year-old was jailed for four weeks for breaking coronavirus rules, forcing him to miss Christmas with his two children in Irvine, North Ayrshire.
However, the loved-up lad's efforts aren't going completely unrewarded, as Jessica revealed she would tie the knot with Dale if he proposes.
The mum-of-two explained: “I’ve had messages from all over the world.
“People from Italy have sent pictures of jetskis saying, ‘This is for your boyfriend, showing our support.’
“People from Ireland have said, ‘What he did is heroic. You should marry that man.'
“If he asks me, I’ll say yes. It’s definitely a story to tell our grandkids.”
Dale reportedly splashed out on a jet ski just one day before he made the trip to see Jessica, 30, despite never driving one before and being unable to swim.
He towed the jet ski 70 miles from his Irvine home to a beach on the Isle of Whithorn.
A source told MailOnline he was a "nice lad" but was "thick as a brick" after he assumed the 25-mile expedition would take just 40 minutes.
After he finally arrived on shore, he had to walk from Ramsey to Douglas, before he was able to see his sweetheart.
The couple met in September, when he was legally working on the island before being separated by lockdown rules.
The roofer came up with the plan after his latest work permit was rejected, forcing him to think of another way to see his beau.
But not everyone was as impressed with his efforts, as his bemused mother said: "He could have killed himself!
"I just don't know why he did it. He'll be missing his kids over Christmas."
He told police his girlfriends address was his own, before the pair headed off to two busy clubs.
Following ID checks, he was nicked the next day.
The Isle of Man has strict border rules in regard to Covid, which seem to have paid off as the population of 85,000 has been able to maintain low levels of the virus.
Sentencing him at the island’s Douglas Courthouse, Deputy High Bailiff Christopher Arrowsmith said he made a “deliberate and intentional attempt to circumnavigate” the border restrictions.
He also stressed that he put himself “at very real risk” of harm with the crossing.
The current Level 4 system on the Isle of Man allows residents to make non-essential journeys beyond the island, but requires them to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
Non-residents must complete a registration form and be granted an entry certificate to be allowed in.
There have been just 373 confirmed coronavirus cases there since March, with just four current cases – none of who are in hospital.
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