Elon Musk is being ridiculed online for his highly-publicized attempts to help rescue the trapped Thai boys in a music-playing mini-submarine – which local authorities deemed “impractical.”
Thai Navy SEALs have just completed the monumental three-day rescue mission to guide 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach to safety from deep inside a water-filled, winding cave. However, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk appears to be getting a chunk of the praise for the rescue mission – without actually contributing to the efforts.
Musk and his SpaceX engineers began construction plans for a “tiny, kid-size submarine” soon after the stranded group were discovered by British divers on Monday last week.
The billionaire kept the internet constantly updated on the submarine’s progress, posting videos from its testing site at a California high school and sharing his feedback from Thai authorities.
Unfortunately for Musk, the mini-sub wasn’t going to work for several reasons. One, water levels were rising, the group were running out of oxygen and so the rescue mission didn’t have time to wait for the submarine. Secondly, maneuvering a cylinder through the cave’s narrow twists and turns for hours on end, multiple times a day, didn’t appear to be the most economical use of time and fading energy.
“Although his technology is good and sophisticated, it’s not practical for this mission,” said Narongsak Osatanakorn, chief of the command center overseeing the rescue, to reporters.
READ MORE: 'Mom, Dad, I love you': Thai boys trapped inside the cave write letters to families (PHOTOS)
Despite the rescue mission already being successfully underway for two days, the CEO continued to post mini-sub updates, even revealing that his team were building a second, slightly smaller version. On Monday, Musk even travelled to Thailand to personally deliver the sub, knowing its window of opportunity for the rescue had passed but hoping it “might be useful in future.”
Musk was mocked heavily, and at times flat-out berated, for pushing his seemingly-unwanted help on Thailand. Some deemed him to be “narcissistic” while others lavished him in praise for taking the time from his busy schedule.
As some of his supporters, and Musk himself, pointed out, narcissist or not, he’s an engineer who took some initiative and did more to try to help the rescue op than the vast majority of Earth’s population.