Officials Ignored Musk’s Mini-Sub And Instead Used Navy Seals To Save Soccer Kids

REUTERS/Joe Skipper

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Thai officials all-but ignored tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s mini-submarine idea and instead used 19 Navy SEALs to rescue members of a soccer team stuck in a cave in Thailand.

Musk crafted a makeshift mini-submarine out of spare parts from a SpaceX Falcon rocket to help rescuers pull 12 members of the Boars soccer team from the flooded the Tham Luang cave. Rescuers successfully removed the children without the sub.

The sub’s aluminum shell weighs 90 pounds and has four ports on the front and rear and has an oxygen tank attached. Musk said in a tweet Monday that the pod “could also work as an escape pod in space.” Thai officials went with the less complicated plan.

Thai Navy SEALS conducted the rescue operation. The rescue mission receiving international attention and support to retrieve 12 boys and their soccer coach began Sunday, using a team of 90 divers — 40 from Thailand and 50 from overseas.

The first four boys were removed Sunday, another four were extracted Monday. The remaining four were pulled out Tuesday. The boys and their coach were taken to a hospital in the nearby city of Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand.

“Twelve wild boars and coach are out of the cave. Everyone safe,” the Thai Navy SEALs posted on Facebook. “Waiting to pick up 4 frogs. Hooyah.” There are four members of the crack squad of rescuers who have yet to leave the cave. (RELATED: Musk’s Makeshift Child Submarine Is On Its Way To Thailand For Rescue Mission)

Musk shared photos and videos on Twitter Monday of the rescue pod, including footage of engineers testing the device in a pool in Los Angeles. Engineers can be seen navigating the submarine through simulated passageways.

“Mini-sub arriving in about 17 hours,” Musk tweeted Sunday night. “Hopefully useful. If not, perhaps it will be in a future situation.”

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