Elon Musk Sends Team to Thailand to Help in Cave Rescue

Image Source RUNGROJ YONGRIT  EPA-EFE  REX  Shutterstock

Image Source RUNGROJ YONGRIT EPA-EFE REX Shutterstock

Tech billionaire Elon Musk is sending help to rescue a soccer team trapped in a cave in Thailand.

Musk has commented on the rescue through Twitter since the news broke earlier this week, initially offering help to the Thai government in their rescue operations in response to a request online.

The boys, 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach went exploring in the cave after a soccer game two weeks ago, when monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for nearly 10 days.

He said Boring Co.'s pumps and Tesla battery packs could be useful for removing water from the 6-mile cave.

Another SpaceX engineer was already in Thailand and will also help, Musk tweeted.

Rescuers have been examining ways to bring the boys out, including fitting them with full-face oxygen masks and accompanying them on a long, unsafe swim through the tunnels.

An air line has been installed to the cave where the group has been trapped for almost two weeks in a chamber in the Tham Luang cave complex.

Musk acknowledged there are many complexities to the rescue mission, he has begun brainstorming some ideas that involve inserting a one-metre nylon tube through the cave network and inflating it with air like a "bouncy castle".

The operation to rescue the boys, ages 11-16, and their 25-year-old coach by having them dive out of the flooded cave began Sunday morning, with expert divers entering the sprawling complex for the complicated and unsafe mission.

Asked if the submarine will be able to pass through "even the most narrow passages", Musk responded "yes", promising that it will be possible to regulate its buoyancy with rocks and dive weights, which will be placed into segment compartments. "Don't know if pump rate is limited by electric power or pumps are too small", he said. And Engadget noted that the Thai government has not said if it plans to use the vehicle in its attempt to rescue the boys.

Adding: "Boring Co has advanced ground penetrating radar & is pretty good at digging holes. If so, could dropship fully charged Powerpacks and pumps", but was quick to establish, "I suspect the Thai govt has this under control, but I'm happy to help if there is a way to do so".

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