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Quiksilver CEO missing off French coast

[BORDEAUX] A search was under way on Tuesday for the chief executive of surfing brand Quiksilver after his empty boat washed up on a beach in southwest France, officials said.

Pierre Agnes, 54, had ventured out at around 7.30am (0630 GMT) on a routine fishing trip before contacting the local harbour master to say he was delaying his return because of fog, a source close to the rescue team told AFP.

The boat washed up shortly after 9.15am at Hossegor, a famed surfing spot about 30km north of Biarritz, the local authorities said in a statement.

Three helicopters and two boats were continuing their search for Mr Agnes after dark but searches on land were suspended.

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Rough seas were reported in the search area, though wind was light and visibility good.

Quiksilver, an iconic Australian surfwear company now based in the United States, recently changed its name to Boardriders, regrouping its other brands including DC Shoes and the Roxy clothing brand.

Mr Agnes, who joined the company nearly 30 years ago, was long based at Quiksilver's European headquarters in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, just south of Biarritz.

Earlier this month Boardriders said it was preparing to buy its Australian rival Billabong, creating a group that would have a combined 630 stores in 28 countries.

An American investment group, Oaktree Capital, controls Boardriders and already owns 19 per cent of Billabong.

AFP

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