LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Authorities say five divers have died off the Southern California coast since lobster season began last weekend and all the deaths happened at night.

Four of the five deaths are known to have occurred during dives for lobster, which are commonly nocturnal, according to The Orange County Register.

KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports a man who disappeared Monday evening near Catalina Island became the fifth local fatality on Thursday when his body was recovered.

Robert Arak, a master scuba diver, trainer, and owner of Scubatude.com, said one of the problems is that divers often only come out once a year to hunt the nocturnal crustacean.

“We always have diver deaths, this year it seems more [than] in previous years,” said Arak. “These skills are skills that you lose ’em if you don’t use ’em.”

More accidents typically happen when a new season starts and divers rush to get in the water, especially under colder conditions where visibility is extremely low, according to Arak.

But because lobster hunting season kicked off locally Sept. 27 and runs through March 18, Arak says it makes more sense to just wait until the conditions are better instead of rushing out on opening week.

“It’s not like the lobsters are going anywhere,” he added.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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