Tesla shares plummet after Musk’s ‘pedo’ outburst
A BRITISH caver who helped rescue 12 boys from a Thai cave said he may take legal action against Elon Musk after the entrepreneur called him a "pedo" in comments that sent Tesla shares tumbling.
Tesla shares were down 3.01 percent in New York about 15 minutes before the closing bell after the latest odd controversy to engulf Musk.
Tesla CEO Musk launched the extraordinary tirade against Vernon Unsworth without providing any justification or explanation, after the cave expert slammed his offer of a miniature submarine to extract the footballers from the Tham Luang cave as a "PR stunt".
The "Wild Boars" team were rescued last week by an international team of divers through a narrow network of twisting, flooded tunnels.
Unsworth, who provided mapping knowledge of the cave to rescuers, said Musk's prototype would have had "absolutely no chance of working".
Musk responded Sunday in a bizarre series of tweets referring to Unsworth, without using his name, as "pedo guy". "Pedo" is short for paedophile.
The entrepreneur doubled down on his claim, tweeting from his official account to more than 22 million followers: "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true".
Musk later deleted the tweets and did not immediately respond to a request for comment through Tesla.
Asked if he would take legal action against Musk over the allegation, Unsworth said: "If it's what I think it is yes." The caver said he would make a decision when he flies back to the UK this week, but added that the episode with Musk "ain't finished".
AMAZING THING BOYS DID WHILE TRAPPED
What the 12 members of the Wild Boars soccer team did while trapped in the waterlogged Tham Luang cave has been revealed in a touching post by a Thai commander.
Lieutenant Colonel Dr Pak Loharachun stayed with the boys during their harrowing ordeal, and commended their incredible resilience in a Facebook post on Monday.
"The qualities of the Moo Paa (Wild Boars) team that impress me are their optimism and great morale in the wake of the ordeal," Dr Pak wrote.
"Every day, the kids dug a hole into a wall with rock fragments to find a way out. They managed to dig five metres deep although they had nothing to eat."
Dr Pak medical and diving skills made him the perfect candidate to stay with the boys as rescuers worked tirelessly to save them, according to the Bangkok Post.
He also sun praise for boys' 25-year-old coach, Ekkapol Chanthawong, who for nine days was the only adult with the children, aged 11 to 16.
"I saw from the first day that Ek waited for the boys to satisfy their hunger first. He gave his meal to the young," Dr Pak wrote.
"Coach Ek has a beautiful heart. He is truly dedicated."
The gripping rescue mission was completed in two stages, which concluded with the safe extraction of the team on July 10.
They were taken to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, where they were placed under observation and are expected to be released on Thursday.
BRITISH CAVE DIVER HITS BACK AT 'PEDO' SLUR
Elon Musk's apparent slur was part of a series of later-deleted tweets by Musk on Sunday after Unsworth said the billionaire's offer of a submarine for the rescue was a publicity stunt.
Reporters at the Thai cave site have spoken to Unsworth who was not happy about Musk's comments.
"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 him as a "suss" (suspicious) "British expat guy who lives in Thailand." Musk also said he would prove his submarine was up to the task by sending it into the cave.
"Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it," the 47-year-old tweeted.
TWO MAJOR RISKS OF THE THAI CAVE RESCUE
The two Australian hero divers that helped rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach were reportedly given diplomatic immunity if anything went wrong during their rescue mission.
An official source confirmed to the ABC's Four Corners program that Dr Craig Challen and Dr Richard Harris were given immunity after negotiations between Australian and Thai Government officials.
Jason Mallinson, a member of the British Cave Research Council Diving Team, also told Four Corners that Dr Harris was the "linchpin" of the mission. Without him it would have failed.
"He was the linchpin of the whole operation. Without him, we wouldn't have been able to do what we did," he said.
"His bedside manner when he was there with the kids and that, talking to them, calming them down and stuff like that, he was the one that sort of sent them on their way and we were just the transporters."
In order to get the boys ready to leave the cave, Air Force Master Sergeant Derek Anderson from US Dive Operations Command said his team and other diving experts practised the rescue with local kids at a swimming pool at a nearby school.
"We had asked the Thai Navy SEALs, 'Hey, we should probably get some kids that are around the same size, age and stature of the ones that we know are in there, and we should go put all this equipment on them, like, that, let's just really run this to the ground'," he said.
"The children were absolutely happy to help. We had divers and Thai children practising swimming underwater, practising handing them off."
Mr Mallinson said they were also practising with the Wild Boars team and their coach.
"We'd get out of the water in the chamber and talk to them about what was involved. We would get out and kit them up with the correct kit," he said.
"They'd get into the wetsuit. We'd put them in a buoyancy jacket, bring them down to the water, put them in the full face mask and check that the seal was good and make sure they were breathing okay."
Mr Mallinson said there were two clear risks of the operation that could have led them to failure.
"The two things that were going to kill them was [if] the full face mask would become dislodged and they'd get water in the mask, and there was nothing we could do about that underwater. We didn't have a backup device for them. It was that mask or nothing," he said.
"The other thing is that if their air ran out."