Caver who helped in Thailand rescue considers legal action against Elon Musk

Galtero Lara
Julio 17, 2018

"I'm not going to make any further comment about him, but I think people realize what sort of guy he is", he said.

Musk was both praised and ridiculed for his offer of help, but he reacted strongly to comments made by British diver Vernon Unsworth, who was part of the rescue team. Both tweets have since been deleted. The statement has already lost Tesla a fan and potential business.

A British cave diver who helped rescue 12 boys and their coach in northern Thailand says he's considering legal action against billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk who called him a pedophile online. Musk's submarine was never used.

Unsworth claimed the pod "had absolutely no chance of working" and Musk's team "had no conception of what the cave passage was like", contradicting information Musk posted as SpaceX and Tesla engineers worked with other members of the rescue team to make sure the device would fit through the tightest spots.

Musk responded with a tweet branding Unsworth a "pedo".

"Bet ya a signed dollar it's true", Musk said in since-deleted tweets after being challenged on the claim.

A Thai military official told the New York Times that the mini submarine could be useful in some future rescue mission in open water. Tesla recently met a weekly manufacturing target for its electric sedan, the Model 3, after months of delays and a series of disasters Musk called "production hell". He has nearly half as many as President Donald Trump, who likewise attacks his critics with relish on Twitter.

Representatives of T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Investments and Baillie Gifford - Tesla's three largest shareholders, behind Musk himself - also declined to comment.

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Elon Musk can't seem to keep out of the spotlight.

Previous comparisons with Trump have angered Musk. "Because no one believes you any more".

Shares of the electric vehicle maker were down 3.5 percent in late-morning trading at $307.82 on news that Musk could face a libel suit over the episode.

"Hopefully useful", he said in one tweet.

"You can't be doing yourself any favor minimally by creating this kind of a distraction, and at worst raising questions about your credibility", he said.

Big investors are in a hard spot with Tesla, much as they were with Uber and ousted CEO Travis Kalanick, Gordon said. The company said in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it doesn't need to advertise because it gets so much free media attention.

"It's very risky if you just blurt things out", he said.

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