Elon Musk's latest outburst raises doubts on Tesla leadership

Vern Unsworth helped bring top international cave rescuers to the mission

A British cave diver who helped rescue 12 Thai boys from deep within a cave has said he is considering suing tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.

But asked if he would take legal action against Musk over the allegation, Unsworth said: "If it's what I think it is yes".

After Unsworth said Musk was performing a "PR stunt", the billionaire called the rescuer a "pedo guy", perhaps implying that he is a pedophile.

The "pedo guy" comment was apparently spurred by Unsworth's criticism of Musk's proposed miniature submarine rescue idea.

Musk's now-deleted post on Twitter adds to a long list of news-making tweets by the Tesla Inc. chairman, who unlike most executives doesn't hesitate to battle publicly with his detractors.

In tweets that appear to have since been deleted, Musk said the submarine would have managed easily, as "you could literally have swum to Cave 5 with no gear".

He said of Musk that he can "stick his submarine where it hurts". "I haven't decided what to do next yet", Vern Unsworth told Reuters in Mae Sai town in Chiang Rai province, about 3 km (2 miles) from the cave where the boys and their coach were trapped for 18 days.

"I do not actually see the checks (changed that policy today)", Musk said in one.

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On Sunday, Musk unleashed on Unsworth, writing on Twitter that he meant to build the child-size submarine he offered to rescuers for the Thailand mission that they rejected.

Musk even doubled down on his "pedo" claim when challenged on Twitter, saying "bet ya a signed dollar it's true". Musk soon started a "Twitter argument over how much credit he deserved for offering to help save the youths", writes The Washington Post.

"I have a lot of support from people around the world astonished by his unfounded comments", Unsworth said, according to The Guardian.

Zhao said he believed Musk originally had "good intentions", but that "humanitarian rescues ... are professional tasks so we should trust others with local community connections".

Tesla shares closed at $310.10 USA before rising 1.9 per cent in after-hours trading.

Musk is known for his comebacks aimed at journalists and Wall Street analysts.

Tesla said last week that it had sold more than 200,000 vehicles in the United States to date, the point at which a company's tax credits begin to decline.

Musk has for years said he is proudly, aggressively unfocused - a billionaire known for his visionary ventures in electric cars, underground supertrains, artificial intelligence and space travel. "I'm certain they wish he would be a more cautious tweeter". Musk responded on Twitter on July 10, calling Osottanakorn "not the subject matter expert".

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