In an interview with CNN, Unsworth described Musk’s mini submarine as useless and as nothing more than a grab for attention.
He also said the billionaire was asked to leave the cave.
“It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine, I believe, was about 5-foot-6 long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone round corners or round any obstacles,” Unsworth said.
“It wouldn’t have made the first 50 meters into the cave from the dive start point. It was just a PR stunt.”
Unsworth was on an international team of specialist cave divers. They were successful in bringing the boys to safety, using stretchers and a system of pulleys.
Unsworth played an important role in the dangerous mission and helped to connect British experts and Thai authorities.
He was a key member of the team because of his thorough knowledge of the cave system, which he spent six years navigating, CNN reported. He also has been involved in smaller cave rescue missions in the UK, and he advised local authorities to bring on a team of expert divers.
“It was a race against time,” he told CNN. “They needed world-class divers and that’s what we got.”
The boys were found only 200 meters away from the location where Unsworth predicted they’d be; it was “probably around about the best place they could have been,” he told the news outlet.
Musk then responded to a tweet that contained excerpts from an op-ed published in the New York Times by Zeynep Tufekci titled “What Elon Musk Should Learn From the Thailand Cave Rescue.”
Last week, Musk released correspondence between him and one of the British divers involved in the complicated rescue mission, Richard Stanton. Stanton wrote that it was “absolutely worth continuing with the development of this system.”
This release of communications followed heavy criticism of Musk’s plan, and the man, who directed the rescue mission, saying that the billionaire’s design “doesn’t fit with our mission to go in the cave.”