Search for missing Austin-area man continues in Belize

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Family and friends say they are paying for a helicopter and other resources to help in the search of a missing former U.S. Army Ranger from the Austin area.

A family friend also said Friday that the U.S. Coast Guard will be sending an airplane and two helicopters to help in the search for a missing Pflugerville man who was last seen off the coast of Belize.

Wrangler Leesman and a friend were on a small kayak off the coast on Tuesday when it flipped over, according to the San Pedro Sun newspaper in Belize.

His friend, Bradley Evans Josker, was located by Coast Guard officials and told police strong winds and high waves knocked them from the kayak, the paper said. The two were holding on to the kayak when another wave hit them and they became separated.

Leesman, a former Army Ranger, has not been seen since.

The family spokesperson said they received a call from the office of Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives.

Friends told KXAN that Leesman had survived tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, a helicopter crash and was at Fort Hood during the recent shootings on post.

Friends say Wrangler’s mom is trying to raise money for the efforts and so are other loved ones.

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