Elon Musk, the billionaire chief executive of SpaceX and Tesla, has left a small submarine at the site of the Thailand cave rescue.
Despite being told by the head of the rescue operation that the submarine was not practical for the rescue mission, Musk stated he was leaving the submarine “here in case it may be useful in the future”.
It is not clear if the submarine, which was built by engineers from SpaceX, is being abandoned inside of the cave system or is being stored in a facility in Thailand.
Musk, who has previously used high-profile events to win contracts for his companies, sent a team of engineers to Thailand last week to see if they could be of service.
He had responded to a Twitter user who pleaded for his assistance in rescuing the children, stating he was “happy to help if there is a way to do so”.
The engineers came from the Boring Company, Musk’s tunnel construction business which aims to provide infrastructure for an underground Hyperloop.
The company was suitable to contribute to the rescue efforts as it had “advanced ground penetrating radar” and was “pretty good at digging holes” explained Musk.
Expert divers have so far rescued 10 boys from a flooded cave in Thailand, leaving another two youngsters and their football coach to be brought to safety.
They are expected to be brought out on Tuesday.
Rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said earlier that the operation would now be “faster than before”, but it seems the navy is keen to manage expectations on how long it will take.
In a post on their Facebook page, the Royal Thai Navy Seals said: “Today is 10 July 2018. It will be longer than previous ones.
“We will celebrate together. Hooyah!”