Elon Musk (via photographer Brian Solis)

For the past few weeks, the world has been watching and waiting to hear about the rescue of the twelve boys and their coach stuck in a cave in Thailand. One Thai Navy SEALs gave their lives in the search, and as supplies and air were running out, many nations banded together to help save the children. Thankfully, their efforts succeeded. All twelve boys and their coach have just been freed. With absolutely zero help Elon Musk.

Yesterday, the billionaire popped on twitter to say that he had a minisub that would fit one at a time and could be used for rescue. He named it after the kids’ soccer team and made it from “rocket parts.” But, while the gesture is… certainly something, it’s also kind of a giant slap in the face of the world’s expert rescue teams. One of the best trained divers in the world died on this mission. It’s not something that could be easily solved in a couple of days, no matter how much some may think it can be.

Personal diving machines are definitely a thing. It’s not like the teams that rescued the boys didn’t know about them. But, of course, they have limitations that, I can only surmise, were considered by the global team of experts including search-and-rescue specialists from the US Airforce, a team of UK cave divers, and a multinational team including all kinds of other specialized teams and crews.

While Musk is notable for pulling off some really cool shit, like delivering a battery backup to Australia and helping the development of the world’s most powerful operational spaceship, he is not the real world equivalent of Tony Stark. He just isn’t.

“The equipment they brought to help us is not practical with our mission,” the rescue chief Narongsak Osatanakorn told the BBC. That’s largely because the cave is tiny, forcing divers to carry their oxygen tanks in front of them at times. A large stiff tube that cannot wriggle through just doesn’t work.

“With all due respect to Mr. Musk, I am not sure that he or his engineers have a real good handle on exactly what they’re dealing with in this particular situation,” Anmar Mirza from National Cave Rescue Commission told Slate.

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