Top surfwear CEO goes missing off coast of France

See More Images Pierre Agnes in Hawaii in December

A search is on in southwest France for Pierre Agnes, the 54-year-old CEO of the surf brand Boardriders-formerly Quiksilver-who is presumed lost at sea.

Authorities have not said if Agnes was alone on the boat, but rough seas were reported near the French Coast Guard's search location.

Early this morning our CEO, Pierre Agnes, did what he did many mornings and went fishing on his beloved boat to start his day. The coast of Capbreton is known for it's intense and often risky waves that are prized by surfers. He later radioed to port authorities that his return would be delayed because of thick fog. There are helicopters and boats taking part in the search for Agnes, reports The Local France.

Boardriders Inc. released a statement saying it is devastated by the news, and given that the situation on the ground is still evolving, its statement will be limited.

French authorities have launched a search operation. He was based in the company's Europe headquarters before becoming CEO in 2015.

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Quiksilver, known for its surfwear, was founded in Australia but is now majority-owned by an American investment group, Oaktree Capital Management, and based in California.

His disappearance has caused great anguish in the surfing world.

Surfing legend Kelly Slater took to Instagram to talk about Agnes' "profound effect" on him and the sport.

The World Surf League wrote on Twitter that news of Mr Agnes's disappearance was "deeply troubling". Get your FREE trial or subscribe now.

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