Elon Musk has lashed out at British rescue diver Vern Unsworth, calling him a “pedo” and questioning his credentials a day after Unsworth lambasted the billionaire entrepreneur’s proposal to use a miniature submarine for the Thailand cave rescue operation.
Unsworth, one of the key personnel in the rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from the Tham Luang cave complex, was asked by CNN what he thought of Musk’s idea. He responded by remarking that Musk “can stick his submarine where it hurts,” saying the contraption was never a viable option for the rescue, and adding that Musk was using the rescue operation as a “PR stunt.”
On Sunday, Musk responded via a prolonged Twitter tirade, before later deleting the tweets.
First, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO claimed that he “never saw this British expat guy who lives in Thailand (sus),” with the “sus” potentially meaning “suspicious.” He then denied Unsworth’s claim that Thai officials asked him to leave the cave site when he went there July 9, saying, “Thai navy seals escorted us in — total opposite of wanting us to leave.”
Musk then rubbished Unsworth’s remark that the submarine wouldn’t even have made it 50 metres into the cave passage, challenging him to share video of the rescue to back up his claims.
“You know what, don’t bother showing the video,” he then wrote. “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 called Musk out for labeling a rescue diver a “pedo,” the entrepreneur doubled down on his claim, saying, “Bet ya signed dollar it’s true.”
Thailand has developed a reputation as a haven for sex tourists from the U.K., with former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson even alluding to the issue during a speech about Brexit earlier this year.
However, Musk didn’t offer any evidence to support his claim against Unsworth, a resident of Thailand’s Chiang Rai province who has spent six years exploring the Tham Luang caves, according to CNN.
Musk previously didn’t take kindly to Thai authorities saying his mini-submarine wasn’t suitable for the rescue mission, tweeting at the time that the provincial governor who made the decision was “not the subject matter expert.”
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