Detained sailor Nick Dunn’s prison hell has ended for now, but the pirate hunter remains in India for the time being.
The 28-year-old is trying to adjust to life on the outside after spending the last six months locked up.
Nick and 32 of his colleagues from the security vessel Seaman Guard Ohio were finally granted bail on Saturday, with strict conditions to remain in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Chennai while they await their next court appearance.
Lawyers working on behalf of the American company Advan-Fort, which owns the ship, are still trying to get the weapon offences against the 36 sailors dropped.
In the meantime, Nick has been settling into life at the hotel, making daily phone calls to his family back home in Ashington.
Nick’s sister Lisa said: “It’s brilliant news they are out but as much as they’re pleased to be out they are still stuck in limbo.
“We’ve been told it could potentially take another month for the hearing. We hope there could be a hearing in the next couple of weeks.
“They’ve got a long way to go, these are serious charges they are facing.”
She added: “I spoke to Nick a couple of times on Saturday and I don’t think he could believe he was out of that prison.”
Nick, who lost more than two stone in weight while in prison, has been adjusting to life on the outside again, which includes being able to drink clean water and sleeping in a bed rather than a cold stone floor where he would sometimes wake to find rats crawling on him.
There were also occasions where poisonous snakes would get into the prison cell.
Lisa said: “I think now they’re just trying to get back to normality. At least they’ve now got a bed to sleep in and clean water to drink and food to eat.
“The men have gone from being in squalor to luxury in the space of an hour’s bus journey from the prison to the hotel.
“Nick said his bones and joints are aching after sleeping on the concrete for six months.
“The first bit of food he had made him ill so they’ve all got some conditioning to do.”
The remaining two guards from the vessel who have not yet been released are the captain and crew leader.