updated 10/12/2010 4:57:45 PM ET 2010-10-12T20:57:45

Six men rescued at sea after their sport boat broke down have been towed back to shore by the Coast Guard.

The vessel, Black Magic, and the men aboard it were towed into the Coast Guard's Atlantic City station around 4:40 p.m. Tuesday to the wild cheers and exhortations of the men's families. The tow back lasted more than 20 hours.

The six men set out Saturday for a tuna-fishing excursion they expected to last one night. When they didn't return Sunday, relatives called authorities. Coast guard aircraft and boats scoured the ocean until the boat was found Monday, some 120 miles off the New Jersey coast. All six men are reportedly in good physical health.

It's not immediately clear what happened or why the men were unable to contact relatives or authorities.

The search extended as far north as Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, where authorities picked up a mayday signal from the men early Monday.

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"Everyone is just so relieved," said Johanna Silcox, whose father-in-law, Edward Silcox of Langhorne, Pa., was among those rescued. "I don't know why, but we all just had a feeling he was going to be all right.

"In 1989, my father-in-law and my husband rescued five people from a boat that was on fire and sinking," she said. "I guess what goes around comes around."

The boat is owned by Geoffrey McDade, a diesel mechanic, and his 26-year-old son, James McDade, a machinist in the Navy who recently returned from a stint in Iraq. Both men were among those on board the Black Magic when it ran into trouble.

Others on board were Bernie Otremsky, of Haddon Township, and Jerry Lewis and Ray Somerville, whose hometowns were not immediately available.

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