Ragged Island, Bahamas

Ragged Island is a 23 km2 (8.9 sq mi) island and district in the southern Bahamas. Ragged Island is part of the Jumentos Cays and Ragged Island Chain. The crescent-shaped chain measures over 180 km (110 mi) in length and includes cays known as Raccoon Cay, Hog Cay and Double-Breasted Cay. Island ownership is stated to have been granted to William George Lockhart some time in the 18th century. On 8 September 2017, Duncan Town took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma.

District of Ragged Island
Coordinates: 22°13′N 75°44′W / 22.217°N 75.733°W / 22.217; -75.733
 • TypeDistrict Council
 • Total23 km2 (9 sq mi)
 • Total44[1]
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)

Etymology edit

The indigenous Lucayan people called the Ragged Islands Utiaquia, meaning "western hutia land".[2] Spanish explorers named the islands Islas de Arena ("sand islands").[2]

Economy edit

Until recently the island had an active salt industry, the salt ponds having been developed in the 19th century by Duncan Taylor, after whom Duncan Town, the only settlement, is named.[3]

Due to the decline of the salt industry, which had peaked in the 1930s,[4] there has been a gradual emigration to more prosperous islands such as New Providence, Grand Bahama Island, Abaco Island, The Exumas and Eleuthera.

Population and people edit

The population of Ragged Island in the 2010 census was 72.[5] Senator Mizpah Tertullien was born on the island in 1930.

Duncan Town edit

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 airstrip, 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 on the island are direct descendants of the original settlers and they bear their original family names, such as Moxey, Curling, Lockhart, Maycock, Munroe, Joffre, Wallace, and Wilson. One of the surnames Maycock originated from Maycock Cay. 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 for 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 before the storm were affected by the request, which included the offer of an airlift to New Providence.[6] The prime minister subsequently offered to consider redevelopment of a more robust community if residents were agreeable.[7]

As of 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.[8] Construction of the solar farm began in December 2019. With the battery storage system finalized, the system is expected to supply at least 90% of the island's energy needs.[9] The solar field was essentially completed in early February 2020[10] and was commissioned by the end of February.[11]

Communications edit

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 (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.

Transportation edit

The island relies on the "mail boat" for transportation to and from the major islands as well as for freight and commerce.[12]

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.

Little Ragged Island edit

This small island of 93 ha (230 acres) is privately owned, and it was listed for sale in March 2021 according to CNN.[13] The island sold for 11 million USD in February 2021.[14][15]

References edit

  1. ^ "Census population and housing" (PDF). Bahamas Gov. Retrieved 17 April 2023.
  2. ^ a b Ahrens, Wolfgang P. (2015). "Naming the Bahamas Islands: History and Folk Etymology". Onomastica Canadiana. 94 (2): 101. ISSN 2816-7015.
  3. ^ "Duncan Town Police Station". www.bahamaslocal.com. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  4. ^ "About Ragged Island". www.bahamas.co.uk. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  5. ^ Ragged Island Population by Settlement and Total Number of Occupied Dwellings: 2010 Census - Bahamas Department of Statistics
  6. ^ Khrisna Russell, Unliveable: PM Urges Remaining Ragged Island Residents To Evacuate, Tribune 242 (Bahamas), September 12, 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  7. ^ Khrisna Russell, Editorial: Ragged Island Experiment Opportunity Of A Lifetime, Tribune 242 (Bahamas), September 19, 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  8. ^ "$4m solar car park opens at stadium". www.tribune242.com.
  9. ^ "Solar Farm Underway On Ragged Island". December 12, 2019.
  10. ^ "Ragged Island solar field complete, says Bahamas Power and Light (BPL)". February 6, 2020.
  11. ^ "First Solar to Grid in Ragged Island makes '60 Minutes' Appearance". March 5, 2020.
  12. ^ Tidwell, Mike (1 March 1999). "Found at Sea". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Beautiful private island in Bahamas goes up for sale". CNN. 2021-03-10. Archived from the original on 2023-06-01.
  14. ^ Hendrickson, V.L. (3 March 2021). "Most Expensive Private Island in the Florida Keys Sells for $11 Million". Mansion Global. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  15. ^ "Florida Keys island sells for $11 million". Miami Herald. 11 May 2021. Retrieved 5 April 2022.

External links edit