A youth Thailand soccer team consisting of 12 boys ranging from 11 to 16 and their 25-year-old coach got trapped in the Tham Luang Caves on June 23rd, 2018. An adventure through the caves resulted in heavy rains causing the soccer team to be trapped without food or water. Once rescuers spotted the team in a cave they began to figure out a plan to bring them out of the cave safely. This is when Elon Musk became part of the situation. A tweet produced by @MabzMagz saying, “Hi sir, if possible can you assist in anyway to get the 12 Thailand boys and their coach out of the cave?”
Elon in reply tweeted, “I suspect the Thai govt. has this under control, but I’m happy to help if there is a way to do so.”
Musk took action immediately to help release the young boys and their coach by sending the services of The Boring Company which is his tunnel-building endeavor. He again posts to twitter claiming, “Boring Co. has advanced ground penetrating radar & is pretty good at digging holes. Don’t know if pump is limited by electric power or pumps are too small. If so, could dropship fully charged Powerpacks and pumps.” Soon after Musk’s tweet, it was confirmed by Bloomberg news that nine of Musk’s engineers have arrived to assist in the soccer team’s rescue.
Three days later, Elon Musk posted another tweet on Twitter stating, “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.”
On Monday, Elon put his plan into practice. Musk shared photos and videos of the rescue pod they had created on Twitter.
Amongst the photos posted on Twitter were engineers testing their new device inside of a pool in Los Angeles. The videos showed the engineers maneuvering the metallic pod through an underwater simulated passageway. They discussed details of the submarine including liquid oxygen and how it was light enough to be carried by two divers that would also be able to get through small passages with ease. The submarine also has an aluminum shell with high thermal conductivity, that way heat will pass through with ease, resulting in insulation for the person inside. Elon Musk even thought about adding some type of music player in hopes of releasing anxiety from whoever is inside the mini-sub.
Since then, the “mini-submarine” was on its way to Thailand to help retrieve the boys stuck in a cave. On Sunday, he tweeted, “Mini-sub arriving in about 17 hours. Hopefully useful. If not, perhaps it will be in future situation.”