The “Wild Boars” soccer team, consisting of 12 members aged between 11 to 16 years and their 25-year-old coach headed out on an adventure to explore the massive Tham Luang cave complex and celebrate a boy’s birthday after their practice on June 23 when they got trapped inside the complex due to a heavy downpour that flooded the tunnels.
The students and their coach have been trapped inside the complex from two weeks now and were discovered by British divers, crammed on a muddy bank several kilometres inside the cave last week, on Monday.
Four out of the twelve students were rescued on Sunday night, after which the rescue mission was put on a hold. The operation resumed on Monday and by night, four more boys were safely rescued out of the treacherous cave. Now, there remain four boys and their coach inside the dark and flooded cave waiting to be rescued.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk stated on Twitter that a team from his rocket organization was working on building a “tiny kid-sized submarine” to help with the safety operation to rescue the kids. Musk tweeted today that he was in Thailand with a prototype mini-submarine at the flooded cave site where five members remained trapped. “Mini-sub is ready if needed. It is made of rocket parts & named Wild Boar after the kids’ soccer team. Leaving here in case it may be useful in the future” he said.
“Just returned from Cave 3,” Musk said on Instagram with a video that he posted of the cave.
Cave 3 is located two kilometres inside the entrance of the cave, which is the base for rescuers. The team members still trapped are two kilometres further inside from this rescuers base. The cave complex remains flooded and covered with narrow, submerged passages that claimed the life of a former Thai Navy diver on Friday, revealing the dangers and the challenging nature of the rescue operation.
Musk called the Mini-Sub “basically a tiny, kid-size submarine using the liquid oxygen transfer tube of (a) Falcon rocket as the hull.” He claims that “it is light enough to be carried by two divers, robust, and small enough to get through narrow gaps”.
Though there is no such plan of the Thai rescuers so far to use Musk’s Mini-Sub, the Billionaire Entrepreneur has promptly utilized the opportunity to promote space exploration.