Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

British rescue diver threatens Elon Musk with lawsuit for ‘pedo’ tweet

A British cave diver — who was critical in the rescue of the Wild Boar football team trapped in a cave in northern Thailand — says he he is considering taking legal action against Tesla chief executive Elon Musk called him a “pedo over twitter”, the Guardian reports.

According to the newspaper, Musk attacked Vern Unsworth (63) on twitter following the diver’s criticism of Musk.

Unsworth told AFP on Monday he had not reviewed Musk’s tweets in full and had only heard about them.

Asked if he would take legal action against Musk over the allegation, Unsworth said: “If it’s what I think it is, yes.”

The diver told AFP he would make a decision when he flies back to the UK this week, but said the episode with Musk “ain’t finished”.

Musk was told by one of his Twitter followers that the billionaire was “calling the guy who found the children a pedo”, but Musk doubled down on his attack of the diver, tweeting, “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.”

According to the Guardian, Musk faces a possible libel suit as his tweets went out to 22-million of Musk’s followers.

The drama began during the rescue operation of the Wild Boar football team — 12 boys and their coach — when Musk offered to assist in the rescue mission by providing a child-sized submarine.

Unsworth, who provided mapping knowledge of the cave to rescuers, said during an interview that Musk’s prototype would have had “absolutely no chance of working”, calling Musk’s offer a “PR stunt”.

“It just had absolutely no chance of working,” Unsworth said on Sunday.

“He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine, I believe, was about 5ft 6in long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone around corners or round any obstacles.”

READ MORE: All 12 boys and football coach rescued from cave — Thai Navy SEALs

Musk has already received criticism for his approach to the Thai rescue mission. His offer to provide a submarine was turned down by Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the operation.

“Even though their equipment is technologically sophisticated, it doesn’t fit with our mission to go in the cave,” Osatanakorn told reporters.

Musk went on to criticise Osatanakorn, saying that the official “inaccurately described as rescue chief”. Musk also said that Osatanakorn was “not the subject matter expert”.

The attack against Unsworth, the Guardian reported, was presented without evidence or context, and there is no evidence to substantiate Musk’s claim of paedophilia.

Musk later deleted the tweet where he referred to Unsworth as a “pedo”.

Earlier in the week, Musk had pledged to be less combative on social media following his series of tweets against Osatanakorn.

READ MORE: Misadventure — How a Thai football team became trapped in a cave

Unsworth, who lives in Thailand for part of the year, was among the first divers on the scene after the football team became trapped in the cave on June 23.

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and get the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. For the latest updates and political analysis, sign up to our daily elections newsletter.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, a full year’s access is just R510, half the usual cost. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Elections 2021: Where will fed-up voters make their mark?

Trust in big political parties is dwindling but that’s not necessarily a win for everybody else

Climate crisis causes meltdown of Africa’s three mountain glaciers

Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Rwenzori mountains are all retreating faster than the global mean

The bins get emptied ahead of voting day, but will...

The Tembisa 10 may be a figment of somebody’s imagination, but Eskom’s Misery Twins are not

Local government elections: Why it’s rational to vote with your...

Voting tactically may seem like a realistic, mature option, but it compromises the integrity of your vote and is corrosive to the long-term health of democracy
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×