Elon Musk wins praise and scorn for Thai cave rescue efforts

The tech entrepreneur offered his company’s services to help save the youth soccer team trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. Some found the move a crass example of newsjacking.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

When trying to participate in an international crisis, how you talk about your efforts is crucial.

The world has been gripped by the saga of the young Thai soccer players and their coach, who have been trapped in a flooded cave system for 17 days, 10 of those days without food. Rescue divers have worked around the clock to rescue the boys, hampered by heavy rains and dangerous conditions.

At time of publication, eight boys have been rescued; four others and the coach remain inside the cave.

On one rescue attempt, a former Thai Navy seal died after running out of oxygen—and experts worried that the boys weren’t strong enough to make the harrowing dive to get back to the cave entrance.

That’s when Elon Musk got involved.

After consulting with experts in Thailand, his team began working on tech solutions to rescue the boys and their coach.

Some good feedback from cave experts in Thailand. Iterating with them on an escape pod design that might be safe enough to try. Also building an inflatable tube with airlocks. Less likely to work, given tricky contours, but great if it does.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 7, 2018

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.