These aren’t the type of stories that usually have a happy ending. But for the three men literally lost at sea for a week and their anxious families, the saga did.

The family of James Phillips — which includes his brother-in-law, Dustin Bode, a Brownwood police officer — was resigned to planning a funeral without a body after Phillips and two other men didn’t return from an overnight fishing excursion in the Gulf of Mexico on Aug 22. The 23-foot catamaran that Phillips owned capsized, and the three survived by hanging on to the craft until they were accidentally spotted Saturday night by the crew of the Affordable Fantasy.

The massive search organized to find them had earlier given up.

Christi Bode is Phillips’ sister, and the rest of us can only imagine her elation when the good news arrived. Her husband described the scene, but it is no doubt the type of emotion where words fail to express a person’s feelings. Some family members interviewed by statewide news media used the word “miracle” repeatedly.

Incredibly, the three men were feeling well enough that they declined medical attention after being brought back to shore by the Coast Guard. The had rationed the crackers they had brought, and drank water from a washdown tank on board.

Happy endings? We like them.

Brownwood Bulletin