The Search for Quiksilver CEO Pierre Agnes Ends

Pierre Agnes
 IROZ GAIZKA/Stringer/Getty Images

After one day of search and rescue operations, French authorities have called off attempts to locate Pierre Agnes, the 54-year-old CEO of surf brand Quiksilver (now Boardriders as of late last year). Early on Tuesday morning, Agnes’s fishing boat, the “Mascaret III,” washed up on the shore of France’s west coast—empty.

Promptly, a missing person’s report was claimed and the search for Agnes began. Helicopters, search boats, jet skis, and authorities on foot searched the four-mile stretch of sea between Agnes’s takeoff point and destination in an attempt to find any trace of the executive, but to no avail. Now, the search has been abandoned.

Authorities faced inclement weather on Tuesday during the search, fighting up waves up to eight feet high and poor visibility in the north Atlantic waters while trying to locate any sign of Agnes. The last contact anyone had with him was a radio conversation with local port authorities, in which Agnes informed them he was delaying his return that morning due to fog.

Now, authorities are saying there is little chance of Agnes being found alive. The coastline of Hossegor, France, where he was fishing, is known for its turbulent waters. Heavy barrel waves make it popular for surfers, but dangerous riptides and unpredictable currents can create especially dangerous conditions in this particular stretch of French coastline.

After Agnes was announced missing, Boardriders released this statement concerning his disappearance:

“Early this morning our CEO, Pierre Agnes, did what he did many mornings and went fishing on his beloved boat to start his day.

Later in the morning his boat was recovered on the beach near his hometown and Pierre has not been heard from since. 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.”

Other voices in the surf and watersports community have also reached out with thoughts and condolences, namely surfing champion Kelly Slater. Slater posted this photo of Agnes (on his fishing boat) and followed it with a heartfelt caption, reading:

“I love this man. @pierre_agnes went missing in Hossegor today when his boat washed ashore in the cold, early morning fog. I’m praying for a miracle but it’s just starting to hit me what a profound effect this man had on my life and the surf community at large. He loved his morning fishing trips, family, @quiksilver, surfing, friends, motorbikes, Capbreton…I’m not even sure how to let it sink in.”