Expert Cave Diver Tells Elon Musk That His Submarine Sucked

Elon Musk Cave Submarine

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British cave diver Vern Unsworth probably knows the Tham Laung cave system better than anyone else alive — which is why he was frustrated when billionaire Elon Musk suggested that he could save the Thai soccer team that was stuck deep in the caves.

Musk was quick to offer his help to the extensive team of international diving experts. Days before the rescue mission was executed, he started promoting his novel solution: putting the boys in a mini-submarine to guide them to the cave exit.

As the idea gained the world’s attention, the de facto head of the Chiang Rai rescue operation said bluntly that Musk’s offer was “not practical”.

Talking to CNN after the mission had wrapped up, 63-year-old Unsworth had some choice words for Musk:

“He can stick his submarine where it hurts,” the expert diver said. “It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like.”

Unsworth had been helping out the mission from the beginning: he has lived in Chiang Rai for six years, and frequently explores the caves where the Thai soccer team was found. He was the one who helped pinpoint exactly where the boys were within the cave complex.

Unsworth continued:

“The sub I believe was five or six feet long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone around corners or around any obstacles. It wouldn’t have made the first fifty metres into the cave from the dive start point. Just a PR stunt.”

At this point the interviewer pushed back: “But he went into the cave on Tuesday?”

“And was asked to leave very quickly, and so he should have been,” he responded.

Here’s the video of the interview:

Over the past week, Musk has taken to Twitter to fight back against claims that he was of little use to the rescue operation.

In one tweet, he denied that former governor Narongsak Osatthanakorn was the leader of the operation.

In another, he questioned why people were criticising him for lending a helping hand.


This weekend, it was revealed that Elon Musk had donated over $39,000 to one of the largest pro-Republican funding groups.