Published: Mon, July 16, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Elon Musk tries to help, but does not always succeed

Elon Musk tries to help, but does not always succeed

A British cave diver who helped rescue 12 boys and their coach in northern Thailand says he's considering legal action against billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk who called him a pedophile online.

When Mr Musk offered his help, posting videos online demonstrating how "a tiny, kid-size submarine" could be used to save those stranded, Mr Unsworth branded it a "PR stunt" and said the businessman could "stick his submarine where it hurts".

The "Wild Boar" team were rescued last week by an worldwide team of divers through a narrow network of twisting, flooded tunnels. "Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it", Musk said. "Pedo" is short for paedophile.

The backlash against Mr. Musk was swift, but he doubled down in another now-deleted tweet that read, "bet ya a signed dollar it's true".

In a now-deleted tweet Musk promised to do a test of his mini-submarine to show that it could have easily entered the cave, stating: "You know what, don't bother showing the video".

Unsworth told AFP on Monday he had not reviewed the tweets in full and had only heard about them.

"If it's what I think it is, yes", he said when asked if he would take legal action against Musk, adding that it "ain't finished".

Vern Unsworth, a British cave explorer based in Thailand, helped rescuers navigate the complex Tham Luang cave system where the boys and their coach were trapped for more than two weeks beginning in June.

According to broadcaster ABC, Dr Craig Challen and Dr Richard Harris were given diplomatic immunity ahead of the risky mission, after negotiations between Australian and Thai Government officials. "Well, (if) by definition rescuing 12 young boys...that puts everybody in the same context".

"It wasn't risky for us, but I can't emphasise enough how unsafe it was for the kids", he told Perth's Sunday Times.

As for Musk's submarine?

That prompted a retort from Musk.

Claus Rasmussen, a Danish national and instructor at Blue Label diving in Phuket, called the allegations "inappropriate" and praised Unsworth's role in the rescue.

Unsworth's comments came as it was reported that two Australians who assisted in the global effort to help the Thai football team were given diplomatic immunity in case anything went wrong during the rescue.

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