Billionaire businessman Elon Musk has defended against allegations that he needlessly inserted himself into the plight of the Thai soccer team stuck in a flooded cave.
Narongsak Osotthanakorn, who led the rescue effort that freed the 12 boys and their coach on Tuesday, said that Musk’s offer of a tiny, boy-sized submarine was “not practical” to use at the Tham Luang cave.
Musk had been following the boys calamity, where they had been trapped since June 23, and had a team of his engineers make the sub.
He posted on Twitter from the cave on Monday, and said he was leaving his creation there “in case it may be useful in the future.”
Some internet commentators took Musk’s motives as purely self-focused, given the flood of media attention to the “Wild Boars” team and international rescue effort.
“This reaction has shaken my opinion of many people. We were asked to create a backup option & worked hard to do so. Checked with dive team many times to confirm it was worthwhile. Now it’s there for anyone who needs it in future. Something’s messed up if this is not a good thing,” he posted on Twitter Wednesday.
He posted an email showing that he had been asked to continue with his project on Sunday by someone involved with the dive rescue teams.
Musk also recently lashed out at being called a “billioniare” and said the label is “almost always meant to devalue & denigrate the subject.”