Former US Army Ranger missing off coast of Belize
A 29-year-old former Army Ranger went missing off the coast of Belize Tuesday when the kayak he was in flipped over near a reef off Ambergris Caye.
Wrangler Shane Leesman, of Austin Texas, was last seen about noon when he and another former Ranger pushed off from the beach on a red kayak.
The kayak was seen capsizing near a reef by an American on the beach, according to a police report provided by the San Pedro Sun.
Family and friends back in the states were expecting the pair, who now work as security contractors, back today.
"He's just an all around good guy," said Leesman's friend David Corley. "He really opened up to me about what went on over there, I guess because I'm a veteran too."
Leesman's companion, Cpl. Bradley Evans Josker, and the kayak were found about 5 p.m. by the Belize Coast Guard.
Belizian officials said they are hopeful they'll find the three-tour veteran of Afghanistan.
"The chances of survival in these conditions are very unlikely for a normal person but because he is physically fit, it increases his chances of survival by a bit," Belize Chief Meteorological Officer Dennis Gonguez told the San Pedro Sun.
Corley, a wounded combat veteran of Iraq, said he's still clinging to hope.
"I'm really hoping for a miracle," he said. "He's like a brother."