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Quiksilver surfwear CEO missing at sea off the coast of France

  • Pierre Agnes, CEO of Boardriders, Quiksilver's parent company, set sail early on Tuesday but did not return.
  • Rescuers then suspended the search on Tuesday evening, with the search operation due to restart on Wednesday morning.
  • "The Boardriders family and entire surfing world are devastated by this news," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

French coastguards are searching for the chief executive of a leading surfwear company after his boat was discovered washed ashore on a beach in the country's south-west.

Pierre Agnes, CEO of Boardriders, Quiksilver's parent company, set sail early on Tuesday but did not return.

After the 54-year-old's boat was discovered run aground in Hossegor, a surfing resort town in Biarritz, French authorities soon deployed two vessels and three helicopters to search for Agnes on Tuesday, according to local reports.

Rescuers then suspended the search on Tuesday evening, with the search operation due to restart on Wednesday morning.

Entire surfing world 'devastated'

"The Boardriders family and entire surfing world are devastated by this news … We are concentrating on working with the local authorities on the search and rescue effort and supporting Pierre's family," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Agnes, who joined the business almost 30 years ago, recently oversaw a deal which brought Quiksilver and sports apparel seller Billabong under the Boardriders umbrella.