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Quicksilver surf company CEO missing at sea, boat washed up on beach

Quiksilver CEO Pierre Agnes has gone missing.

Pierre Agnès, 54, was last seen setting out in rough seas at 7.30am on Tuesday. The French father of three is believed to have been alone on board the 11-metre ‘Mascaret III’ when it headed out in the Atlantic near the resort of Biarritz on the south-western coast of France.

He was planning to go fishing near Capbreton, at the mouth of the Boudigau and Bourret rivers. In a call to French maritime authorities soon after setting out, he said he was delaying his return because of thick fog.

The alarm was raised at 9.15 am after friends and family said they had been unable to reach him. Soon afterwards, the Mascaret III was found empty in Soorts-Hossegor, a well-known surfing beach about 15 miles north of Biarritz.

It appeared to have washed up. Two boats and three helicopters were scrambled to search for him and he was officially listed as “missing at sea”.

Authorities sent boats and helicopters off the coast of southwest France to search for Mr Agnes, after his empty boat was found washed ashore

“The search is becoming increasingly difficult in darkness as the temperatures drop,” a spokesman for the local préfecture said. Mr Agnès was described by friends as a “seasoned sailor, fisherman and sportsman”.

A former member of the French national surfing team, he has worked for Quiksilver for 30 years, mostly at the company’s European HQ in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, in south-western France.

He has been chief executive officer of Quiksilver since March 2015. The brand was founded in Australia in 1969 before moving its headquarters to the United States.

Mr Agnès travels widely on business but spends as much time as possible in south-western France, where he first surfed.

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