Quiksilver chief executive Pierre Agnes is missing at sea after French coastguards found his empty boat washed ashore in south-western France. Agnes sent a message to port authorities indicating that he was delaying his return because of thick fog.
Pierre Agnes, 54, went out at sea at 7:30 a.m. and authorities launched an investigation after his boat washed up in Hossegor., France's The Local reported. The area along France's west coast is renowned among surfers for its intense, sometimes violent waves.
Boardriders confirmed that Agnes took similar fishing trips "many mornings" on his "beloved boat".
French authorities are trying to determine whether Agnes was alone on the boat when he set out from the Bay of Biscay port, the BBC reports. The local coast guard suspended the search on Tuesday night and resumed the operation Wednesday morning.
Mr Agnes meant to do some solo fishing at Capbreton, which is located at the mouth of the Boudigau and Bourret rivers.
Quiksilver is an American retail sporting company founded in Australia but now based in California.
Surfing legend Kelly Slater posted a photo of Mr Agnes, pictured above, to his Instagram page saying he was "praying for a miracle".
Quiksilver, known for its surf wear, was founded in Australia but is now majority owned by a USA -based investment group and based in Huntington Beach, Calif.
The World Surf League wrote on Twitter that news of Mr Agnes's disappearance was "deeply troubling".
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family all at this time, as well as the search and rescue teams", it said.