District of Ragged Island
|o Type||District Council|
|o Total||23 km2 (9 sq mi)|
|o Density||3.1/km2 (8.1/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
Ragged Island is a small island (9 square miles) and district in the southern Bahamas. Ragged Island is part of the Jumentos Cays and Ragged Island Chain. The crescent-shaped chain measures over 110 miles (180 km) in length and includes cays known as Raccoon Cay, Hog Cay and Double-Breasted Cay. On 8 September 2017, Duncan Town took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma.
Due to the decline of the salt industry, which peaked in the 1930s, there has been a gradual emigration to more prosperous islands such as New Providence, Grand Bahama Island, Abaco Island, The Exumas and Eleuthera.
Duncan Town is the only settlement in the entire Ragged Island chain and is situated within a bay of shallow water. The island contains a small air strip, a harbor, and a lighthouse. A tower on the south end of the island is visible from ships transiting the Old Bahama Channel.
Most of the inhabitants are direct descendants of the original settlers and they bear their original family names, such as Moxey, Curling, Lockhart, Maycock, Munroe, Wallace, and Wilson. The familiar heritage and their remoteness have resulted in the islands being part of the "family islands" or "out island". Although the island is remote and sparsely populated, many of its descendants have taken important roles within sailing & maritime affairs, politics, athletics, entertainment and business.
In September 2017, the Prime Minister invoked a mandatory evacuation order all members of the community to leave the island to allow for cleanup and the restoration of services, following a devastating hit by Hurricane Irma. Eighteen residents who had not evacuated prior to the storm were affected by the request, which included the offer of an airlift to New Providence. The prime minister subsequently offered to consider redevelopment of a more robust community if residents were agreeable.
As off March 2019, there are only limited attempts at restoring the island. In a speech on March 19, the Prime Minister evaded reporters questions concerning the proposed solar farm for the island.
In August 2005, a contract was signed with TYCO International to deploy a fiber optic submarine cable in a self-healing ring topology, connecting 14 islands of the Bahamas; namely, New Providence, Andros, Eleuthera, Exuma, Long Island, Ragged Island, Inagua, Mayaguana, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Cat Island, Abaco, Crooked Island and Grand Bahama, at a cost of $60 million.
The island relies on the "mail boat" for transportation to and from the major islands, as well as for freight and commerce.
The island is also served by Duncan Town Airport. Upgrades to the Duncan Town Airport (funded by the European Union) were commenced in 2006 at a cost of $650,000.
The dredging and construction of a dock in Ragged Island commenced in 2006, at an estimated cost of some $3.5 million.