NORWALK, Conn. -- Happy Birthday To Norwalk’s Peter Willcox!
Willcox, who was raised and has lived in Norwalk, turns 61 on Thursday. The Greenpeace activist and boat captain was born March 6, 1953.
Willcox drew headlines after he was arrested by Russia last September after staging a protest near a Russian oil rig in the Arctic Ocean. He was captain of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise at the time.
He was held in Russia with his crew for more than 100 days until they were granted amnesty on charges of hooliganism. Willcox and his crew were dubbed the "Arctic 30" while they were in the Russian jail.
In his decades of work with Greenpeace, he was also the captain of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985 when it was bombed in New Zealand by the French secret service, killing Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira.
He has participated in decades of activism, including his campaigns against Soviet mechanized whaling and nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. Willcox has also worked to preserve ancient rainforests and protest deep-sea trawl fishing.
After 32 years with Greenpeace, his future plans include taking over as captain of the new Rainbow Warrior ship.