A 35-year old budding film director fell to his death after he reportedly slipped from a rock at Ermai falls at Malavanthige in Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada on Wednesday. According to police officials, the deceased Santhosh Shetty Kateel was taking drone pictures of the location along with his team members, for his upcoming film, when the incident took place.
The team members told the police that Santhosh who made his directorial debut with children's film Kanasu - Kannu Theredaga ( 2015 ) had taken few pictures of the falls. "He was trying to capture safe and appropriate locations for the shooting near the waterfall. However, as he tried to capture more images, he must have turned around and taken a misstep over the slippery rocks and slipped into the water. We suspect, Santhosh had some heavy gadget tied to his leg and he was not able to swim to the surface of the water," a police official said.
Team member Preetham, who accompanied Santhosh during the photo-shoot and called emergency services for help, spotted the body and removed it out of the water from where it was taken to government hospital at Belthangady.
A native of Kateel, Santhosh worked as an editor for two other short films Kabbina Haalu and Kanasu prior to the 2015 release of Kanasu - Kannu Theredaga.
According to district officials, the coastal district was among the heavy recipient of pre-monsoon showers in the past one week. The rain mapping of Belthangady revealed that the taluk has received 65.1mm rain between May 29th and May 30th. "Obviously, the dense green cover of Didupe & Ermai waterfall at Ujire was no exception. The entire topography in the forest areas especially the falls was slippery and locals were cautioned against visiting such terrains during monsoon," an officials said
In its Weather Warning Bulletin for the week, the National Weather Forecasting Centre has predicted 'heavy to very heavy' rain from May 29 to June 2, in Kerala and Coastal-Karnataka region; with wind speeds from 40-50 km per hour and has advised fishermen not to venture into the sea.
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