CENTRAL COAST, Calif. -

Strong and dangerous rip current are expected along the Central Coast this holiday weekend, which could increase problems for beach goers.

The National Weather Service issued a beach hazard statement effective Wednesday night which includes San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County beaches.

The rip currents are expected to be impacting the central coast beaches over the holiday weekend, specifically starting late Thursday night through Monday evening.

The Fourth of July weekend always brings large numbers of people to the beaches, putting lifeguards and safety patrols on high alert.

Santa Barbara City Fire Department Captain Chris Mailes said, “Anytime we have a large number of people around the beaches, we have the potential for problems to occur, unfortunately people literally get in over their head, and may not be a good swimmer and may be in situations that they had no businesses getting into.”

Even with the increased number of lifeguards and harbor patrols up and down the coast, officials want to remind everyone to not enter the ocean if they can not swim, always swim near a lifeguard tower, and never mix alcohol and going in the ocean.