The CEO of surfwear brand Boardriders, which recently changed its name from Quiksilver, was declared missing at sea Tuesday after he went fishing off the coast of France—and only his boat came back. The French coast guard says it has launched a search and rescue operation for 54-year-old Philip Agnes, whose 36-foot boat was found washed up on a beach on the country's Atlantic coast near the surfing resort of Hossegor, reports Reuters. After he set off early Tuesday, he sent a message to port authorities saying his return would be delayed because of thick fog, the Guardian reports.
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. Authorities say three helicopters and two boats are searching for the CEO in rough seas. Agnes, an experienced surfer, worked at Quiksilver for almost 30 years and became CEO in 2015, reports Surfer magazine. The company said earlier this month that it was planning to buy Australian rival Billabong, creating a surfwear empire with 630 stores in 28 countries. (Read more France stories.)