Mystery surrounds the whereabouts of surfwear and fashion boss Pierre Agnes after his boat was washed up empty on a beach in south west France two days ago.

Rescuers completed their second day searching for the multimillionaire after his 36ft powerboat Mascaret III was found at Hossegor, about 20 miles north of Biarritz.

The 54-year-old Frenchman was last seen as he went fishing around 7:30 am on Tuesday (30 January), hours later the empty vessel washed up on the shore.

At the time Agnes set sail forecasters reported rough seas with clear visibility.

French authorities deployed three helicopters and two rescue boats in the search for the father-of-three, but they have found no sign of the head of fashion at surfwear firm Boardriders.

The group is based in California, in the US and includes Quicksilver, an iconic Australian surfwear clothing line and other brands such as DC Shoes and Roxy clothing.

The Frenchman, who joined the company nearly 30 years ago, has long been based at Quiksilver's European headquarters in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, just south of Biarritz.

A statement from Boardriders said: "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."

It added: "We are concentrating on working with the local authorities on the search and rescue effort and supporting Pierre's family. Please keep Pierre and his family in your prayers."

In January, Boardriders announced it would buy its Australian rival Billabong, to create a group consisting of 630 stores in 28 countries.