Elon Musk apologises for calling British cave diver a 'paedo'

18 July 2018, 08:13

Elon Musk has apologised for calling a British caver involved in the Thai rescue mission a "paedo" on Twitter.

The comments were made in a row which erupted during efforts to save 12 boys and their football coach trapped for days in the Thai caves.

The caver, 63-year-old Vernon Unsworth, had dismissed Mr Musk's suggestions to recover the trapped group using a miniature submarine.

All of the boys and their coach were rescued in a successful three-day operation without Mr Musk's help.

Mr Musk, the CEO of Tesla, said in a tweet: "His actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologise to Mr Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader."

"The fault is mine and mine alone."

The tweet was made in reply to an article defending and celebrating Mr Musk.

Mr Unsworth had previously said he was considering taking legal action after Mr Musk made the unfounded allegation that he was a paedophile because the British ex-pat lived in Thailand.

When told by the Reuters news agency about the latest tweets by Mr Musk, he said: "I am aware of his apology, and no further comment."

In his apology, the Tesla CEO said his words were "spoken in anger" in response to Mr Unsworth speaking "several untruths" about the "impractical" submarine which the billionaire chief executive left in Thailand.

Mr Musk stated that he was particularly offended by Mr Unsworth's description of the submarine as a "PR stunt" and stating that he could stick the submarine "where it hurts".

:: Boys rescued from cave mourn diver who aided rescue

At the time, despite being told by the head of the rescue operation that the submarine was not practical for the rescue mission, Mr Musk stated he was leaving the submarine "here in case it may be useful in the future".

Mr Musk added that his "mini-sub... had been built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader".

That the apology was extended to the companies Mr Musk represents as leader is significant. He was facing considerable pressure from Tesla investors to retract his accusation.

Tesla shareholders published an open letter warning the CEO that he risked losing their confidence.

Following the apology, Tesla shares were up 4% pre-market.