A GREENPEACE activist from Milton-under-Wychwood has been reunited with a ship more than 300 days after it was seized by Russia during a protest against Arctic oil drilling.

Phil Ball, 43, greeted Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship at an Amsterdam harbour on Saturday.

It was the first time he had seen the vessel since being arrested on board last September, spending two months in Russian prison on piracy and then hooliganism charges.

Mr Ball was part of the Arctic 30 – a team which demonstrated against Arctic oil drilling.

Speaking from on board the ship, he said: “It felt amazing to see it again.

“The ship has been away for 11 months and the last time I was on board we were being escorted off at gunpoint.

“It was a really happy experience to get back on board. We spent two weeks on it preparing for the action on the oil rig and there are some really happy memories.

“To some extent it felt like going home.”

The ship was under Russian control until it was handed back to Greenpeace in June.

It was then repaired and cleaned before travelling back to its Amsterdam base, and will be used in future demonstrations.

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