Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France 2017

PARIS — French authorities suspended their search for Pierre Agnès, chief executive officer of surfwear company Boardriders, while the surfing community expressed alarm on social media over his disappearance.

The executive’s boat washed up on a beach on France’s west coast Tuesday morning, hours after he headed out to sea.

Agnès, 54, is ceo of the U.S.-based company that owns Quiksilver, which has European headquarters in southwest France. The executive had set off at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, according to local authorities, who sent out boats and helicopters for their search and rescue operation.

In a post on Instagram, surf star Kelly Slater paid homage to Agnès, saying “I love this man….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.”

“The Boardriders family and entire surfing world are devastated by this news,” the company said in a statement.

Boardriders, controlled by Oaktree Capital Management, earlier this month revealed plans to buy Australian label Billabong. The company was expected to shuffle its management team later this year and name Oaktree managing director Dave Tanner as ceo of Boardriders, while giving Agnès the title of president.