Life Rings At Central Park

Ten life preservers now circle the lake at Plantation Central Park, thanks to an effort by a mom who lost her son to drowning.

The city’s Public Works department placed the rings around the lake in July after conversing with Sarah Perry, whose son, Aden, drowned in April 2022 while trying to rescue a driver who had plunged into in a canal. They are called Aden Perry Hero Life Rings.

Aden Perry, 17, was out walking his dog with his mom at the Residences of Sawgrass Mills when he saw a car enter a canal. Aden dove in to save the driver and his head hit a rock. Both drowned.

“There was nothing there that night that he could have used and I always think that what if there was a life ring there that night, then perhaps my son would be here today,” she said.

Ever since that happened, it has been her mission and to honor her son, who was a former member of the swim team at Plantation Central Park and a junior at Western High.

“I couldn’t just let him die in vain,” Perry said. “I don’t want this to happen again and any other mother to suffer like I am or go through what I’m going through, and I don’t want any more lives to be lost when there’s something like this that we can do to prevent that.”

Plantation Mayor Nick Sortal lauded Perry’s efforts. She has succeeded in placing Life Rings in many Broward County municipalities.

Sortal, a former writer and editor for the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, was presented in 2007 with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Broward County for his newspaper coverage of Swim Central, the county’s water safety program. He said he initially balked at the life ring idea because he preferred to focus efforts on children learning water safety. Once information for swim lessons and other safety information was added to the wooden Life Ring post, he relented.

“In almost 100 percent of cases, drowning is preventable via parental supervision,” Sortal said. “That’s the objective that I stress above all. Watch your child.”

A QR Code guides visitors to, which offers a $40 discount coupon on swim lessons.

To contact Perry, call 954-348-2064 or email [email protected].