Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Thai cave rescue: Elon Musk offers kid-sized submarine

Thai cave rescue: Elon Musk offers kid-sized submarine

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has dispatched a team of engineers to Thailand to assist in the rescue of the trapped Thai youth football team and their coach.

Though rescuers found the group after nine days and they have received food, blankets and medical attention, it is still a risky dive and scramble through four kilometres of tunnels where they are trapped in - as they can not swim or dive. Of course it's not the first time that he's offered help on Twitter, using the expertise of SpaceX and Tesla.

Musk said the construction will be "complete in about 8 hours, then 17-hour flight to Thailand".

"We estimate that (they) are 600 metres down, but we don't know the (exact) target", he said. Time is of the essence as concerns mount over depleting oxygen levels and pending heavy rains. The tweets show the submarine being slowly ferried underwater by a team of divers.

CNN reports Musk noted early Friday he was sending SpaceX and Boring Co. engineers over to Thailand to assess things in person, an assertion backed up by the Thai government.

Musk said based on "feedback from Thailand", the engineers made a decision to build a "tiny, kid-size submarine" using a large silver tube meant to be affixed to a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

He said he was also making an "inflatable tube with airlocks", which was "less likely to work, given tricky contours".

Musk, founder of the Boring Company, as well as the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX tweeted Thursday: "SpaceX & Boring Co engineers headed to Thailand tomorrow to see if we can be helpful to govt". Chiang Rai's Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn announced that no further action would be taken until the Thailand rescue team ensured everyone that all conditions were stable for a second wave of evacuations.

Divers have been guiding the boys through darkness and submerged passageways towards the mouth of the Tham Luang cave system, where they have reportedly been able to walk the last part on foot.

And the situation is growing more desperate: A former Thai Navy SEAL died from lack of oxygen on Friday while attempting to replace oxygen canisters for the boys.

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