After it is decided that Phillip and his mother must leave the island and return to America, they board the S. S. Hato, bound for Miami by way of Panama. But two days after leaving the Central American port, the ship is torpedoed by a German U-boat. On their way to boarding one of the lifeboats, Phillip and his mother are separated, and Phillip is thrown into the waters below. After Phillip regains consciousness, he discovers that he is sharing a raft with "a huge, very old Negro." He eventually finds that the man's name is Timothy, a sailor on the ship who managed to save Phillip from drowning. Also aboard the raft is a large cat named Stew Cat.
The third passenger on the raft in The Cay was a cat named, Stew.