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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 August 2018

Tesla chief Elon Musk apologises for comments on Thai cave rescuer

Billionaire had described key member of dive team as a 'pedo'

Tesla founder and chief executive Elon  Musk. AP Photo 
Tesla founder and chief executive Elon  Musk. AP Photo 

Tesla chief founder Elon Musk has apologised to British caver Vern Unsworth for comments he made about him following the rescue of a dozen Thai schoolboys and their football coach from a cave in northern Thailand.

"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," Mr Musk said in a tweet. "The fault is mine and mine alone."

Mr Unsworth, who played a leading role in the rescue, said he was aware of Mr Musk's apology but had yet to decide on whether to pursue legal action over the billionaire's abuse of him on Twitter, including describing him as a "pedo".

He said on Tuesday that he had been approached by British and American lawyers and would seek legal advice.

Mr Musk launched a tirade against Mr Unsworth after the cave expert dismissed his offer of a miniature submarine to extract the youth footballers from the Tham Luang cave as a "PR stunt".

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Happy faces of all 12 boys and coach recovering in hospital

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Mr Unsworth, who provided mapping knowledge of the cave to rescuers, said Mr Musk's prototype would have had "absolutely no chance of working".

Mr Musk responded on Sunday in a bizarre series of tweets referring to Mr Unsworth as "pedo guy" without using his name. "Pedo" is short for paedophile.

He then reasserted the claim, tweeting from his official account to more than 22 million followers: "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true".

Mr Musk later deleted the tweets.

Mr Unsworth, who lives part of the year in Thailand, took part in the massive 18-day effort to rescue the 12 boys and their coach. The mission ended on July 10 when the last five members were extracted by an international team of divers through a narrow network of twisting, flooded tunnels.

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