At least 14 people were rescued from a homeless encampment in the riverbed of the swollen Ventura River Monday afternoon as heavy rain soaked the region.

The rescue took place near the intersection of Main and Peking streets around 3 p.m.

Ventura firefighters used a ladder and rope system to reach the stranded people. A boat was also deployed to assist and a helicopter circled overhead to evaluate the ability to perform a hoist rescue.

Seven people were rescued from an island in the riverbed at Peking Street.

An additional rescue took place downstream at the 101 Freeway bridge over the river. Around 3:30 p.m., seven more people were rescued downstream, this time by a Ventura County Fire Department helicopter.

Of the 14 people rescued, none required medical transportation to the hospital, according to the Ventura Fire Department. One person did require medical attention for minor injuries.

Four other people, including two who were underneath a bridge, were convinced to leave with firefighters and got out of the riverbed without assistance, officials said.

  • A boat was deployed during a rescue of stranded people at a homeless encampment in the Ventura Riverbed (KTLA)
  • Several people were rescued from a riverbed encampment in Ventura following heavy rainfall that flooded the river on Jan. 9, 2023.
  • Several people were rescued from a riverbed encampment in Ventura following heavy rainfall that flooded the river on Jan. 9, 2023.
  • A helicopter circled overhead of a Ventura riverbed rescue on Jan. 9, 2023.

The rescue came as heavy rain battered much of Southern California, including Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Some areas in Ventura County are under a mandatory evacuation orders, while others remain on standby to evacuate if needed. For the latest evacuation information, click here.

Captain Brian McGrath of the Ventura County Fire Department said the river would continue to rise even as rain began to subside.