Musk created a "kid-size submarine" and went to Thailand to assist in the rescue, but authorities ended up not needing his device.
Vern Unsworth - who was on the worldwide team of specialist cave divers at the scene - had told CNN that he thought the mini-submarine the Tesla chief sent to help with the rescue was a useless grab for attention. "He had no conception of what the cave passage was like", adding that the submarine "wouldn't have gone round any corners or round any obstacles". Among other comments, Unsworth said the submarine "wouldn't have made the first 50 meters into the cave" and was "just a PR stunt".
Musk was quick to offer his help to the extensive team of global diving experts.
When a Twitter user called Musk out for labeling a rescue diver a "pedo", the entrepreneur doubled down on his claim, saying, "Bet ya signed dollar it's true".
"It just had absolutely no chance of working", Unsworth said in a widely shared interview.
The 47-year-old Tesla and SpaceX CEO didn't take the criticism too kindly, lashing out at Unsworth in a series of tweets Sunday in which he baselessly accused the diver of being a pedophile. "Thai navy seals escorted us in - total opposite of wanting us to leave".
"You know what, don't bother showing the video", he then wrote. "We will make one of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo".
Last Tuesday, Musk told his Twitter followers he had just returned from the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex. The team built a mini submarine dubbed "Wild Boar" (after the name of the team), which they believed could transport the boys to safety. In a tweet Saturday, Musk called his political leanings moderate and touted his support for environmental and humanitarian causes.