Pierre Agnes, the 54-year-old CEO of surfing company Quiksilver, has been declared missing at sea by French authorities, after his fishing boat washed ashore Tuesday without him inside.
Agnes took his boat out of Capbreton Harbor into the Bay of Biscay around 7:30 a.m. local time yesterday, and the “Mascaret III” ran aground north of its launch point two hours later. Conditions yesterday morning were choppy, and French maritime authorities reported waves between 4.5-7 feet and visibility of 1.2 miles. Agnes told authorities that he was delaying his return because of bad fog, and shortly afterward, his boat turned up.
Agnes has been with Quiksilver for 30 years, and he became the CEO in 2015. He is an accomplished surfer and fisherman, with ample experience in this particular stretch of sea, as it’s just north of Biarritz, a popular French surfing beach. After the “Mascaret III” washed ashore, French authorities called for an extensive search, and Spain pitched in a search helicopter. “Literally just got out of water, everyone at La Graviere was looking for him in between sets,” surfing photographer Tim Nunn told Carve Magazine. “Five helicopters in the air, six boats, four jetskis, a boat washed up on the beach, so heavy.”
The search came to a pause last night after 10 hours of scouring the coast, and after looking for Agnes this morning, the French Atlantic Maritime Prefect officially suspended the search “by direct means.”