The Norwalk native who is skipper of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise and most of the people aboard the ship when it was seized by Russia more than two months ago have been released on bail.
Peter Willcox, captain of the Arctic Sunrise, and the others who face hooliganism charges must remain in Russia, although Greenpeace is working to get them to be able to leave the country.
Willcox, 60, and 29 others were arrested and the vessel seized Sept. 18, when activists aboard the ship tried to climb onto a drilling platform and hang a banner. The platform is owned by Gazprom, the Russian-owned natural gas company.
The Greenpeace activists were protesting oil drilling in the Arctic. Initially, they were charged with piracy, but the charges were later reduced to hooliganism.
On Friday, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered the Russian Federation to release the Greenpeace ship, 28 activists who were on board and two freelance journalists also on board, Greenpeace said.
Willcox was later released from a St. Petersburg jail later on Friday.
Greenpeace had to post bail for the ship and those aboard.
They were arrested by the Russian coast guard Sept. 18.
The Dutch government asked for the hearing before the tribunal because the Arctic Sunrise sails under the Dutch flag.
The platform the activists were trying to board is called Prirazlomnaya, and is Russia's first offshore platform in the Arctic. The Russians say they acted against the Greenpeace ship and those aboard because it violated a security zone around the platform.
Willcox was also captain of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, which was bombed and sunk in 1985 by French secret service agents.