Elon Musk has apologized to British cave diver Vern Unsworth after he called him a “pedo guy” on Twitter.
Musk’s comments came after Unsworth criticized the miniature submarine he’d built to help rescue the 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach who were stuck.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has now replied to a Twitter user who shared an article on the whole thing, with him issuing an apology and saying, “The fault is mine and mine alone.”
See his full comments below:
Unsworth had previously insisted Musk’s submarine was a “PR stunt.” He also told CNN that it “had absolutely no chance of working” because Musk “had no conception of what the cave passage was like.”
Musk had floated a number of high-tech ideas to assist with the rescue, including an underwater air tunnel and an inflatable tube, before settling on the mini-submarine, tweeting videos of the contraption being tested. He even travelled to the Tham Luang cave complex and presented the vessel.
The Thai provincial governor overseeing the rescue operation passed on Musk’s sub, however, saying that while he appreciated the offer, the submarine simply wasn’t suitable for the cave rescue mission. Musk responded by saying the Thai official was “not the subject matter expert.”
Unsworth was asked about Musk’s intervention on CNN and made his thoughts clear.
“He can stick his submarine where it hurts.”
The submarine was “about 5-foot-6 long, rigid so it wouldn’t have gone around corners or around any obstacles,” Unsworth continued. “It wouldn’t have made the first 50 metres from the dive start point.
“Just a PR stunt.”
Unsworth, who lives in Chiang Rai province and spent six years exploring the Tham Luang caves, said authorities were right in asking Musk “to leave very quickly” after he turned up at the cave site on July 10.
WATCH: Elon Musk posts footage from inside Thai cave
Musk has since mooted other potential uses for the contraption, tweeting that it could be used to rescue people trapped in dangerous environments where exposure to toxic gases or waterborne viruses and bacteria may be a concern.
He then reportedly took to Twitter to criticize Unsworth’s CNN comments. Musk has seemingly since deleted the posts, which saw him insist that he never saw Unsworth at the cave site, as well as saying the mini sub/pod could have gone all the way to Cave 5.
Journalist Mic Wright posted screenshots of the messages, in which Musk also called Unsworth a “pedo guy”:
The Guardian then reported that Unsworth was considering legal action over the “pedo” comment.
The diver was said to have told journalists at the cave site: “I believe he’s called me a paedophile. I think people realize what sort of guy [Musk] is.”
The 12 Thai boys and their 25-year-old coach will be discharged from hospital next week, the country’s health minister said on Saturday.