Elon Musk Calls Rescue Mission Cave Diver A “Pedo”

Savage Twitter attack after UK expat mocks submarine idea

Billionaire Elon Musk has used social media to label a British diver who assisted with the Thai cave rescue a "pedo guy".

The slur was part of a series of later-deleted tweets by Musk on Sunday after British diver Vern Unsworth said the billionaire's offer of a submarine for the rescue was a publicity stunt.

"He can stick his submarine where it hurts," Unsworth told broadcaster CNN in an interview.

"It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine was about five foot six (inches) long, rigid, so it wouldn't have gone 'round corners or 'round any obstacles. It wouldn't have made the first fifty metres into the cave... just a PR stunt."

In response, Musk questioned Unsworth's involvement in the rescue, describing the fact that he was a "British expat guy who lives in Thailand" as "sus", and saying he’d never seen him at the cave.

After then asking Unsworth to prove his point by releasing the rescue video, Musk tweeted that he would instead prove his submarine was up to the task by sending it into the cave, and doubled-down on his personal attack.

"Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it," the 47-year-old tweeted.

When challenged by a Twitter user about the allegation levelled against Unsworth, Musk replied "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true."

The tweets have been obtained by technology news site Gizmodo.

An international team of cave-diving experts rescued the group of 12 teenage boys and their coach last week, after they had been stuck in the cave since June 23.

The rescue involved scuba diving through narrow passageways that remained totally submerged in water.

Mr Unsworth, who lives in the Chiang Rai region and was familiar with the Tham Luang cave network, predicted where the boys would have taken shelter, and also put Thai authorities in touch with the British divers who first found the team.

The soccer team are currently recovering in hospital in Chiang Rai and are expected to be discharged this week.

With DPA

Feature image: AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato via AAP