SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk had proposed a mini-submarine to save the boys trapped inside the flooded Thai cave. Musk apparently flew to Thailand to deliver the submarine personally, but it was politely rejected by the rescuers on ground. They reportedly told Musk that the submarine was not practical for the mission, but thanked him for his efforts. A rescue operation of the soccer team and their coach has been underway in Thailand’s Tham Luang cave for more than two weeks now. At the time of writing, all 12 boys and their coach that were trapped inside the cave due to flooding had been rescued.
The Guardian reports that Musk’s submarine was politely refused by rescue workers. “Although his technology is good and sophisticated it’s not practical for this mission,” Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation, told the publication. The office of Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also thanked the tech entrepreneur for his offer of help. Musk later tweeted that he was leaving the submarine at the cave site nevertheless, in case it was useful in the future. He tweeted, “Just returned from Cave 3. Mini-sub is ready if needed. It is made of rocket parts and named Wild Boar after kids’ soccer team. Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future. Thailand is so beautiful.”
While many appreciate Musk’s grand gesture to help in the time of crisis, with fans hailing Musk and his engineers for their creativity, other people, however, questioned whether Musk’s plan was actually credible or just a future business agenda. While offering the mini-submarine as a potential saviour, Musk again used the opportunity to promote space exploration. “With some mods, this could also work as an escape pod in space,” Musk said on Twitter. Last week Musk also sent teams to Thailand from his private space exploration firm, SpaceX, and engineering firm, Boring Co. which is developing tunnelling systems for transport projects.