SOUTH HAVEN — Nikara Brandsen, sister of 19-year-old Jazmyn Patterson of South Haven, and others are calling Patterson a hero after she lost her life earlier this week after rescuing her 4-year-old cousin.

Patterson and her cousin were on an inflatable raft in Lake Michigan when it capsized. She was able to get the youngster safely back on the raft, but soon became distressed and went under the water for at least five minutes, the family said.