STOCKTON (CBS13) – Deputies went above and beyond the call of duty. A man hadn’t slept in four days, worried the house but would capsize at any moment and sink to the bottom of the delta. He will finally get a peaceful night’s sleep, thanks to deputies that went beyond the job description to help.
Ron Todd has had his houseboat for 13 years. It’s his home with everything he owns and everything he loves. When the engine compartment started filling up with water, Todd started losing sleep. He worried his boat would capsize at any moment and sink to the bottom of the Tiki Lagoon in the delta in Stockton.
“I was burned out of my house. I lost everything, pets, family history and I wasn’t looking forward to going through that again,” said Todd.
Todd bagged up his food and got it off the boat in hopes it would sink slower. He called several repair shops only to hit dead ends.
“They said, ‘Well your boat’s too old. Your marina is too far. You’re looking at a new engine.’ And I said, ‘We’re talking about a leak, not a new engine.'” said Todd.
That’s when Todd came across the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Boating Safety Unit. Sergeant Melissa Griffith provided her own pump to get the water out of the boat and Deputy Daniel Urquhart knew someone willing to provide underwater repairs for free.
“If it wasn’t for that pump, I would have been underwater,” said Todd.
“It does mean something. Definitely, I would do it again. I know that my partners would do it again on or off duty. This is something that we do,” said Sgt. Griffith.
Seeing the minimal food Todd had bagged up to lighten the load on his boat, Sgt. Griffith brought him a pizza using her own money.
“It is nice to help others and I could see that he needed it. And it was something that I couldn’t walk away from,” said Deputy Urquhart.
Todd is encouraging people to donate to the Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit, knowing they’ll pay it forward and help someone else like him.
“Everything is just outstanding and I just can not say enough about the water patrol. They were caring, sensitive, jumped right in there, had resources,” said Todd.
Todd will never forget their help. He’s no longer pumping out water. He’s at peace, staying afloat.