It's 1940, the beginning of the Blitz, and 13-year-old Kenneth Sparks is selected to go to Canada as part of a program to send ninety British children to the safety of the U.K.'s overseas dominions. Life aboard the luxury ship is grand - rich food, new toys, soft beds, and new friends to distract them from the constant reminder that war is happening all around them. When his ship is torpedoed, Kenneth, five other boys from the program, and about 40 adults make it aboard Lifeboat 12, one of the only lifeboats remaining after the evening's gale-force winds. Will they run out of supplies? Will they survive long enough to be found?