The British diver who played an instrumental role in rescuing the 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thailand cave last week fired back at tech billionaire Elon Musk, who apparently accused him of being a pedophile.
On Monday, Vern Unsworth told a reporter at 7 News Sydney that he cannot put to words what he feels about Musk, but is not ruling out legal action.
Musk, the CEO of Tesla, visited the Thai cave where the soccer team was trapped and left a mini-submarine there in the event it could benefit rescuers. Musk called it a “kid-sized” sub, named Wild Boar — in reference to the soccer team — and posted pictures of the vessel being tested in a swimming pool in California.
Unsworth essentially called the submarine useless.
“It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine I believe was about 5 feet, 6 inches long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone round corners or round any obstacles,” Unsworth said. “It wouldn’t have made the first 50 meters into the cave from the dive start point. It was just a PR stunt.”
Musk fired back in a series of now-deleted tweets that complimented the Thai Navy SEALs, but crushed Unsworth, where he questioned water levels in the cave and whether or not “you could literally have swum there.”
“We will make one of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo. Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”
When a Twitter user pointed out that Musk was “calling the guy who found the children a pedo,” as The Guardian reported, the tech entrepreneur responded: “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.”
Neither Musk nor Unsworth responded to Fox News’ requests for comment.
The group had entered the sprawling Tham Luang cave to go exploring after soccer practice on June 23, but monsoon rains soon filled the tight passageways, blocking their escape. They were found by a pair of British divers nearly 10 days later, huddled on a small, dry shelf just above the water, smiling with relief but visibly skinny.
The complex mission for international and Thai divers to guide the boys and coach through the cave’s flooded passageways riveted people worldwide. Highlighting the dangers, a former Thai Navy SEAL volunteering to work on the rescue effort died Friday while replenishing oxygen canisters that were placed along the escape route.
Each of the boys, ages 11-16 and with no diving experience, was guided out by divers though rocky, muddy and water-filled passages that in places were just a crawl space.
The Associated Press contributed to this report