Aaron Bernstein / Reuters
Elon Musk has floated a variety of ways to help free the members of the Thai soccer team - but his kid-sized submarine has been politely turned down for being "not practical" for the mission.
Musk has offered the rescue mission assistance from his companies, and engineers from two of Musk's companies, SpaceX and Boring Co., were sent to Thailand. Musk himself also visited the site.
But his latest contribution - a small, child-sized submarine - was ultimately not suited to the rescue mission.
Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command center who has been coordinating the operation, told reporters: "Although his technology is good and sophisticated it's not practical for this mission," according to The Guardian and the BBC.
Musk later tweeted correspondence between himself and Richard Stanton, a diving expert who helped run the rescue mission, in which he was told that the submarine could be used if conditions worsened.
According to a screenshot, Stanton told him to "please keep working on" the submarine designed, just in case. As it happened, the rescue went smoothly without Musk's technology playing a part.
A spokesperson for Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha told a journalist with news agency AFP that the prime minister was "highly appreciative" of Musk's offers to help and "very touched" that Musk had travelled to the region.
Spokesman for Thai junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha thanks @elonmusk for his offer of help over trapped cave boys (though you kinda get the feeling the subtext is, thanks, but we got this) pic.twitter.com/qMORj3df51
Musk tweeted today that the mini-submarine is made of "rocket parts" and is named "Wild Boar" in honor of the kids' soccer team, which has the same name.
Musk said that he would leave the submarine there "in case it may be useful in the future."
Just returned from Cave 3. Mini-sub is ready if needed. It is made of rocket parts & named Wild Boar after kids' soccer team. Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future. Thailand is so beautiful. pic.twitter.com/EHNh8ydaTT
Musk had been offering help over social media and drafting various solutions over the past few days to help free the boys. They were trapped in the cave for more than two weeks before the first boys were rescued on Sunday.
Musk has posted videos of himself in the cave, where many of the comments thank him for his efforts as part of the mission.
Musk posted videos testing the kid-sized submarine on Twitter before he sent it to Thailand, while it was still being tested in Los Angeles.
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