'Pedo': Elon Musk's bizarre outburst at Thailand cave diver
Advertisement

'Pedo': Elon Musk's bizarre outburst at Thailand cave diver

Bangkok: Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has gone on a bizarre Twitter rant in defence of his offer to help the Thai cave rescue operation, calling one of the British divers a "pedo".

Vern Unsworth, a British diver who helped rescue the 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in the Tham Luang cave, dismissed Musk's offer to build a miniature submarine as a publicity "stunt".

"He can stick his submarine where it hurts," Vern Unsworth told CNN on Saturday.

Elon Musk's child-sized submarine was deemed "impractical" for the Thai cave rescue mission.

Elon Musk's child-sized submarine was deemed "impractical" for the Thai cave rescue mission.

Photo: Fairfax Media

"It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine was about five foot six [1.7 metres] long, rigid, so it wouldn't have gone 'round corners or 'round any obstacles. It wouldn't have made the first fifty metres into the cave... just a PR stunt."

Musk hit back in a string of tweets that said he never saw Unsworth in the cave and he found is "sus" that Unsworth was a British expat living in Thailand. He later referred to him as "pedo guy".

Advertisement

Unsworth was part of an international team of cave-diving experts who rescued the group of 12 teenage boys and their coach last week. The "Wild Boars" football team had been stuck in the cave since June 23.

The rescue involved scuba diving through narrow passageways that remained totally submerged in water.

In the midst of the operation, Musk tweeted on Tuesday, apparently from Thailand: "Just returned from Cave 3. Mini-sub is ready if needed. It is made of rocket parts & named Wild Boar after kids' soccer team. Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future."

When asked about Musk being in the cave, Unsworth shrugged and said: "And [he] was asked to leave very quickly, as he should have been".

Loading

Musk was forced to defend his efforts several times during the operation. At one stage, he tweeted some email correspondence to refute claims by the rescue mission chief, Narongsak Osottanakorn, that Musk's mini-submarine was not practical.

In the email correspondence, a rescue co-leader, Richard Stanton, asked Musk to keep working on the capsule design as they were worried about the smallest boy in the cave.

A spokesman for Stanton later told the New York Times that the cave proved to be too narrow for the submarine.

Loading

The 12 boys and their soccer coach are recovering well and are reported to be eager to eat their favourite comfort foods after their expected discharge from  hospital on Thursday.

In video messages of the boys shown at a news conference on Saturday, they are seen wearing surgical masks, a safeguard against infection that's been taken since the last of them were pulled from the Tham Luang cave on Tuesday, ending an 18-day ordeal. Doctors said that Friday, when the videos were recorded, would be the last day they'd have to wear them.

Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsattayatorn, who led the news conference at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, said all 13 - the dozen boys, who range in age from 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach - were expected to be discharged from the hospital on Thursday.

DPA