Woman gives birth in flooded Lompoc riverbed

January 10, 2023

Lompoc Riverbed, prior to the storm


Emergency personnel rescued a mother and her newborn baby after the woman gave birth in a flooded Lompoc riverbed on Monday. 

While the baby survived, it is unclear whether the parents will keep custody of the child. Authorities have launched a child endangerment investigation in response to the incident. 

Shortly before noon, firefighters arrived at the 200 block of N. H Street to check on reports of black smoke. However, instead of a fire, crews discovered a woman in the process of giving birth, police said.

With the assistance of the child’s father, the woman delivered the premature infant. During the delivery, the parents were surrounded by water flowing through the riverbed. 

Fire personnel rescued the family from the riverbed. Medical personnel then transferred the mother and her newborn to a Lompoc hospital. Both were in stable condition.

In response to allegations of child endangerment, police opened an investigation.

Shortly afterwards, a 911 caller reported hearing someone yelling for help from the riverbed.

Officers then found three people and a dog in the middle of the riverbed, about 40 yards from the west river’s edge, also surrounded by water.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department Swift Water Rescue Team rescued one person while the other two individuals chose to remain at the location. Fire personnel called for animal control to respond for the dog.

Lompoc police are warning residents to stay away from areas with large amounts of standing water.

“These two incidents are a good reminder that if you do not need to be out on the road, please stay home,” the police department said in a statement. 

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I can understand they were indeed in danger, being in the riverbed in a rainstorm. Certainly NOT smart! BUT seeing that her baby was premature. IS that considered child endangerment? I am sure she was not expecting to go into labor, much less intentionally caught up and stuck in the riverbed? Can you imagine that child….oh where were you born? “In a riverbed!”