PARIS — French authorities have deployed boats and helicopters off the coast of southwest France to search for the chief executive of sportswear maker Quiksilver after his empty boat was found washed ashore.

The port authority of the Atlantic beach town of Capbreton said the search was launched after Pierre Agnes’ empty boat was found washed up Tuesday in nearby Hossegor.

Maritime authorities said two boats and three helicopters are involved in the search.

The area is known for intense, sometimes dangerous waves that are prized by surfers.

Quiksilver, known for its surf wear, was founded in Australia but is now majority-owned by an American investment group and based in Huntington Beach, California. Agnes was the head of its France-based European headquarters before being named CEO of the whole company in 2015.

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