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Elon Musk fires back at British diver who was critical of his submarine

Lulu Chang

While Elon Musk’s offer of a submarine to help rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thailand cave made for interesting news, not everyone is thrilled with Musk. During an interview with CNN, Vern Unsworth, a British diver who played a major role in the rescue, grew exasperated when asked his thoughts on Musk’s submarine.  Calling the device a “PR stunt,” Unsworth said that the sub’s design would have made it impossible to navigate the tight corridors of the cave.

The famously prickly billionaire did not take kindly to Unsworth’s assertion that his submarine was a simple PR stunt. In a Twitter thread, Musk attacked Unsworth and called him a “pedo guy.” As of right now, Unsworth has not responded to Musk’s most recent comments. However, many people on Twitter felt that Musk crossed a line by accusing Unsworth of being a pedophile. At least one user went so far as to suggest Unsworth file a defamation lawsuit against Musk.

Prior to the rescue, Musk said engineers from his companies were heading to Thailand “to see if we can be helpful” to the rescue operations. In order to assist with the operation, Musk brought in engineers from Tesla, SpaceX, and the Boring Company. On July 8, Musk shared images of a submarine his team had come up with to help rescue the trapped children. Musk shared photos and videos of a miniature submarine that could potentially help transport the boys from the cave to safety.

“According to divers who have made the journey, this is capable of maneuvering through all passages,” Musk said on Twitter at the time. “Hopefully useful. If not, perhaps it will be in a future situation,” the entrepreneur wrote.

The soccer team, comprised of 12 young boys, along with their coach, were reported missing in late June. They were exploring the Tham Luang cave complex in northern Thailand, which is known to flood during the rainy months of the summer. They were ultimately found by rescuers 10 days after originally becoming trapped in the cave and the last members of the team were extracted on July 10.

Updated on July 14: Updated with diver Vern Unsworth’s thoughts on the rescue sub.