While Branson recognized the potential dangers facing Fossett, who disappeared this week after leaving the business tycoon's Nevada ranch by plane, he said he was optimistic that his friend could survive any ordeal, CNN reported.
"If he's landed and he's not too badly hurt, he's the one person in the world who will be mentally and physically equipped to get out of it," Branson said.
Nevada Department of Public Safety spokesman Chuck Allen appeared equally confident that rescuers would soon locate Fossett, who disappeared Monday, and bring him to safety.
"We're confident if his plane only sustained minor damage that he's strong enough to survive the elements," Allen said.
CNN reported that Fossett is no stranger to desperate circumstances, having endured worldwide voyages in the past and having once hiked 30 miles to civilization after being forced to land his plane.
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LONDON, June 19 (UPI) --The arrival of a new heir to the British throne is expected to pump $380 million into the country's economy this summer, a retail analyst said Tuesday.