KITTERY – Forty-one members of the Maine House are petitioning the Russian government to release a Greenpeace ship captain and crew that tried to climb aboard a drilling platform in the Arctic.

State Rep. Deane Rykerson of Kittery said he’s friends with the ship’s captain, Peter Willcox, who this year married a woman from Islesboro off the coast of Belfast.

He told the Portsmouth Herald that he began soliciting signatures on Friday and that he had 41 by Monday. The signatories said they are “deeply troubled” by the Russians’ actions in capturing the ship.

The Arctic Sunrise was boarded by the Russian coast guard last week and towed to port in Murmansk. Willcox is one of 30 crewmembers in Russian detention, where they are expected to remain for two months.