Samuel Goodrich claims his name was Richard, but Beach's detailed Ely ancestry lists him as William.
William was in the West Indies by the time his father left England. Two years later his father sent for him. With his brother Richard he owned 1,300 acres of land around Lyme, Conn, (History of the Ely re-union held at Lyme, Conn., July 10th, 1878. Salem, Mass. : Higginson Book Co. (reprint), pg. 48). On his voyage from the West Indies, his ship was sunk in a storm. William was the only survivor. He clung to some wreckage until picked-up by a Spanish ship, which dropped him not far from the Connecticut River, where he met-up with his father (Ely ancestry... New York : Calumet Press, 1902, pg. 35). A long list of William's offices is given in Ely ancestry, pgs. 41-44. His will, dated Sept. 1717, was located in the Probate Office in New London, Conn., along with an inventory dated March 1717. This included "one silver tankard and silver spoons, appraised 20 pounds; real estate valued at 1,767.10 pounds; movables at 528.7 pounds; sum total: 2,295.14.4 (Ely ancestry, pg. 41).
William, along with Matthew Griswold, was one of the Lyme champions in the famous pugilistic contests to decide the New London boundary (Ely, pg. 45)

"...William, whom he (his father, Richard) had left in the West Indies on his voyage, came too, to join the wild abode of his surviving parent. The rude brigantine which bore him hither, with unskilled seamen to navigate, was dismantled in a furious gale in the archipilego, and finally foundered in mid-ocean. Every soul on board the ill-fated vessel sank to rise no more except William Ely, who, lashed to a disintegrated yard-arm, floated among the seething billows, lashed in fury by the raging storm, until on the third day, exhausted and with life nearly extinct, he was picked up by a Spanish cruiser, then on an exploring expedition to the shores of New England. Landing William on the coast not far distant from the mouth of the Connecticut, he sought and soon found the rude hamlet of his father, With joy unspeakable, he embraced his son, who related to him the story of his voyage, his rescue, and escape from a watery grave. Prayer and thanksgiving were offerded up by the father and son for this Divine interposition, and daily, for weeks and months, he (William's father Richard) ascended to the height of a neighboring hill and there alone, with outstretched arms, poured forth his gratitude to the Divine Master for the preservation of his child." (Ely ancestry, pg. 35)