Elon Musk, the billionaire known for innovative projects in Tesla and SpaceX, called British diver Vernon Unsworth from the Thai cave rescue, a ‘pedo guy’, to which Irish-based Belgian caver Jim Warny responded it was “completely uncalled for.”
Warny spoke with RTE and stated that Unsworth’s local knowledge and understanding of the cave system, divers would have had much more difficulty in rescuing the 12 soccer players and their coach.
“He [Musk] perhaps didn’t grasp the whole environment of the cave but he certainly offered to do something,” he added.
Musk offered to give the rescue team a submarine, but Unsworth believed “It just had absolutely no chance of working. He [Musk] had no conception of what the cave passage was like.”
“The submarine, I believe, was about five-foot-six long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone 'round corners or 'round any obstacles,” he continued.
“It [the submarine] mightn’t have been fully adapted or possible to use in this situation. We would have gladly discussed it with him some more but we had a job to do at the time and what he did afterwards was totally uncalled for.”
Cave rescuer on Musk: “It was a PR stunt. It had no chance of working.” pic.twitter.com/uPgRMQLkRx— Quoth the Raven (@QTRResearch) July 13, 2018
Unsworth argued that it was just a PR stunt on Musk’s part and “It wouldn’t have made it the first 50 meters into the cave from the dive start point.”
Warny emphasized the severity of the conditions they faced, such as the lack of visibility and length of time it took to reach the trapped soccer team, in that “it couldn’t get any worse.”
The Belgian Cave diver had been called upon by the British Cave Rescue Council to help the rescue efforts, of which he admitted was a challenging mission because of the varying levels of flooding and distance.
“There was one section where we had to get completely out of the water and put the boys on a stretcher and try to carry them for 200 meters,” Warny gave as an example.
“It was a miracle everything worked, there were difficulties, yes, but there was an amazing team involved.”