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One of the rescuers of a youth soccer team that was trapped in a Thai cave is reportedly considering legal action against Elon Musk after the Telsa CEO called him a “pedo” on Twitter.
Vern Unsworth, a British cave explorer, said Monday he was “astonished and very angry” at the billionaire’s accusation.
Musk, who built a mini-submarine to aid the rescue mission, was apparently responding after Unsworth called the device “a PR stunt.”
In a CNN interview Sunday, Unsworth said Musk’s mini-sub had “absolutely no chance of working” and that Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts.”
Musk responded in a series of now-deleted tweets: “Never saw this British expat guy who lives in Thailand (sus) at any point when we were in the caves. Only people in sight were the Thai navy/army guys, who were great.
“Water level was actually very low … you could literally have swum to Cave 5 with no gear, which is obv how the kids got in. If not true, then I challenge this dude to show final rescue video.”
He then added: “You know what, don’t bother showing the video. 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.”
Many users urged Musk to withdraw the comment, but he doubled down — writing “bet ya a signed dollar it’s true” — before deleting.
We have just met with British dive hero Vern Unsworth who has bizarrely been called a “pedo” by Elon Musk, for criticising his rescue submarine. He is fuming, and will consider legal action. “This isn’t the end.” (forgive my sweat and scruffiness) pic.twitter.com/mGeFwJyZCb
Unsworth, 63, told reporters at the cave site, where a cleanup operation is under way, that the remarks were an attack on the entire rescue crew. Asked if he would consider legal action against Musk, he told The Guardian: “Yes, it’s not finished.”
Musk and his team of engineers at SpaceX and The Boring Co. designed the mini-submarine to help rescue the 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach who became trapped in the cave June 23 when a flash flood blocked the entrance. They were finally brought to safety on Tuesday. A Thai Navy SEAL died during the operation.
Musk’s device was fashioned out of a tube for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. He said the other cave divers and rescuers were “unsung heroes.”
The boys and their coach were still recovering under quarantine in a hospital in Chiang Rai, Thailand, Monday, where all were improving quickly, the country’s top public health official said.