Virgin boss Branson has ‘given up hope’ of finding Steve Fossett

November 14th, 2007 - 2:19 am ICT by admin  
Fossett has not been seen since September 3 when he took off from a western Nevada ranch in a single-engine plane in a search for suitable sites to attempt a new land-speed record.

Since then, extensive searches have been carried out for the 63-year-old, but with no success. Teams on foot, horseback and various vehicles have all been deployed in an area of rugged terrain just north of California’s Death Valley National Park.

In an interview today on NBC’s Today show, SIr Richard paid tribute to Fossett, saying he was a remarkable individual who touched the lives of those he knew. As well as being friends, the two men collaborated in various attempts to circumnavigate the earth in a balloon.

“I think the chances are that he’s no longer with us. I think everybody involved has pretty well given up hope, sadly,” The Times quoted Branson, as saying.

The entrepreneur added that Fossett’s wife, Peggy, had written to him to say she was returning to Nevada for one final search, but the likely fate of her husband was “beginning to sink in”.

Fossett had previously survived a nearly 30,000-foot plunge in a crippled balloon and a dangerous swim through the English Channel. (ANI)

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