NATIONAL

Tesla CEO under fire for likening Thai rescue diver to ‘pedo’

By Yim Hyun-su
  • Published : Jul 16, 2018 - 17:31
  • Updated : Jul 16, 2018 - 17:43
Telsa CEO Elon Musk has come under fire after calling one of the divers involved in the Thai cave rescue mission a “pedo.”

In a series of tweets Sunday, Musk said he never saw “this British guy” in the caves while he was there, referring to diver Vernon Unsworth, and called him a “pedo guy.”

Musk also said he would bet a “signed dollar” on his accusations -- presumably that the man is a pedophile -- being true. The tweets have since been deleted following backlash, but captured images of the original tweets continue to draw criticism.

(AP-Yonhap)
The baseless attack comes just days after Unsworth, who led part of the rescue operation, appeared on CNN and slammed Musk’s rescue plan as a “PR stunt.”

In an interview with CNN, the 63-year-old diver said, “He can stick his submarine where it hurts. It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like.”

Unsworth also added the South African tech mogul was asked to leave from the scene “very quickly” after going into the cave Tuesday.

The image from Elon Musk’s tweet shows a “tiny kid-sized submarine” being tested in a pool at Palisades Charter High School on July 8. (AP-Yonhap)
Earlier this month, Musk shared a series of pictures and videos testing a miniature submarine in a swimming pool in Los Angeles.

The device was offered to help rescue a group of 12 Thai boys and their coach who were trapped in the Tham Luang cave for over two weeks, but Thai officials turned down Musk’s offer, citing lack of practicality.

Narongsak Osotanakorn, the chief of the rescue mission, described Musk’s device as “not practical” for the operation, though acknowledging the equipment’s state-of-the-art technology.

Thai cave rescuer Vern Unsworth calls Musk's mini submarine a "PR stunt." (CNN)
Unsworth, who played a pivotal role in linking Thai officials with British experts, has not ruled out taking legal action against the Telsa CEO, Australian media reported Monday.

Musk also faced criticism from followers over the weekend after reports revealed the CEO made substantial donations to a Republican political committee last month.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)