(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk’s engineering team is set to arrive in Thailand on Saturday to help free a boys’ soccer team from a cave, where a diver died in the rescue effort.
The Thai government confirmed the timeline for Musk’s group in a Facebook post. The billionaire’s companies may assist by trying to pinpoint the boys’ precise location using Space Exploration Technologies Corp. or Boring Co. technology, pumping water or providing heavy-duty battery packs known as Tesla Inc. Powerwalls, a spokesman for Musk said earlier.
Twelve boys and their coach, who had been missing since last month, were found by a pair of British cave divers late Monday. Efforts to rescue them are hampered by narrow passageways and rising waters in the cave system. Most of the boys cannot swim. A former Thai navy SEAL died early Friday during an underwater swim.
Last year, after a devastating hurricane hit Puerto Rico, the government there asked Musk for help. Tesla sent Powerwalls and provided advice on rebuilding the Caribbean island’s infrastructure. Over the past couple days, Musk posited possible ways his companies could help in Thailand. “I suspect that the Thai govt has this under control, but am happy to help if there is a way to do so,” he wrote earlier this week on Twitter.
In recent hours, Musk suggested ways to help, including the possibility of inserting tubes and then inflating them with air, similar to the way bouncy castles work. The mechanism “should create an air tunnel underwater” that conforms to the shape of the cave, he wrote in a tweet. Other tweets reference the location of water and depths of different parts of the cave, making clear he had studied diagrams in detail. He also held a Twitter exchange with Thai satellite entrepreneur James Yenbamroong, asking questions about the voltage and amperage of electricity produced by generator trucks at the rescue site.
Musk’s tunneling startup Boring Co. could potentially make available its massive drills or excavation expertise, but such an approach could be too dangerous for this mission.
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