The entire world has rejoiced following the rescue of 12 Thai soccer players and their coach by a large team of heroic divers and first responders — but for all his hype on the subject, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had nothing to do with the successful rescue operation.
According to recent reports, all 12 Thai soccer players and their coach have been successfully rescued from an underwater cave following a weeklong rescue mission in which one Thai Navy Seal lost his life. Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested a number of solutions to rescue the soccer team, including a series of inflated rubber tubes that would provide air to the cave. Musk even developed his own miniature “submarine” that could provide oxygen and transport one person at a time from the cave — however it seems that none of Musk’s suggestions were used in the rescue.
Maybe worth trying: insert a 1m diameter nylon tube (or shorter set of tubes for most difficult sections) through cave network & inflate with air like a bouncy castle. Should create an air tunnel underwater against cave roof & auto-conform to odd shapes like the 70cm hole.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2018
Musk stated on Tuesday that the soccer team had been successfully rescued and congratulated the rescue team:
Great news that they made it out safely. Congratulations to an outstanding rescue team!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 10, 2018
Musk also appears to have taken a break from attacking journalists critical of his work on Twitter, posting a video from inside the cave to Instagram, he had apparently arrived on the scene in an attempt to somehow help with rescue operations.
“Musk and the team visited the tunnel last night to assess the conditions and get further feedback on the mini-submarine, in case it was used as a backup option,” SpaceX told Business Insider.
Other observers were critical of Musk’s actions, deeming them an attempt to grab attention and make headlines. BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones stated: “Elon Musk is well known to have an eye for the headlines, but to be fair he only became involved after a message from one of his army of fans on Twitter. The fact that his company’s space technology and its much vaunted tunnelling skills proved irrelevant to the operation is a reminder that sometimes this tech superhero doesn’t quite match up to the Iron Man of his fans’ dreams.”