Pierre Agnes, the chief executive of surf clothing brand Quiksilver, is still missing at sea, after setting off from the southwest France coast on Tuesday morning (local time) and never returning.
The Frenchman's boat has since washed up, unmanned, at famed surfing hotspot Hossegor.
there are now fears for his life, as search and rescue teams trawl the Bay of Biscay looking for him. Three helicopters and two boats have been sent out in search of the 54-year-old.
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It is not yet known if Mr Agnes was alone or with others, but despite rough seas, the area had low winds and good visibility at the time of his disappearance.
Mr Agnes had earlier sent a message to port authorities, expressing that he would not be returning until later, because thick fog had set in.
Surf legend Kelly Slater has already given a tribute to Mr Agnes and while he was still "praying for a miracle", he indicated that he thought the Quiksilver CEO was dead by speaking about him in past tense.
Mr Agnes' disappearance comes at a bad time for Quiksilver, which had just changed its name to Boardriders, as it consolidated brands and prepared to buy rival Billabong.
Rescue efforts for Mr Agnes have been suspended until daylight on Wednesday (local time).