Elon Musk calls Thai cave rescuer a pedophile on Twitter

After Elon Musk branded one of the British divers who saved 12 boys a 'pedo', the man has said he is considering legal action

British rescuer Vern Unsworth says he is considering legal action against USA billionaire Elon Musk after he made an unfounded and disparaging claim he was a "pedo", or pedophile, in a now-deleted tweet.

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.

"He can stick his submarine where it hurts", Unsworth said in an interview.

No evidence has come to light to substantiate Musk's pedophilia accusation.

Musk had proposed using "a tiny, kid-size submarine" featuring technology from his space exploration firm to evacuate the boys, and travelled to Thailand with a prototype last Tuesday. Only people in sight were the Thai navy/army guys, who were great.

Responding to Musk's Twitter rant, Unsworth told Australia's Nine Network, "I believe he's called me a pedophile".

Musk said he would start a website to "track the credibility score of each journalist, editor & publication". "I think people realise what sort of guy [Musk] is".

Reports emerged on Monday that two Australian divers who took part in the rescue had obtained diplomatic immunity before the operation in case it failed.

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"He's just a PR stunt merchant-that's all he is", Unsworth added.

A Thai military official told the New York Times that the mini submarine could be useful in some future rescue mission in open water.

In a series of tweets that Musk appears to have deleted while this article was being written, he claimed that he had been repeatedly asked by rescuers to build the sub.

When pushed on the issue, Musk allegedly wrote "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true".

Vernon Unsworth, a caver based in Thailand, provided knowledge of the Tham Luang cave system, which helped in the rescue. He said Musk, whom he had never met, must have a "bruised ego".

"The challenge is that he would have to find assets of Musk's outside of the America".

Spokesmen for Tesla and Musk's office did not respond to requests for comment.

Rattled investors sent Tesla shares tumbling 3 percent on Monday, extending a losing streak for a company that was only weeks ago America's most valuable automaker, worth more than General Motors.

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