Resident Inspection Office (RIO) Ponce is located in the “Playa Ponce” section of the municipality of Ponce. Ponce is situated on the south coast of Puerto Rico, a two – three hour drive from San Juan. RIO Ponce is co-located with the Customs and Border Protection Maritime Unit at 40 Bonaire Street, directly fronting Ponce Bay.
Conducts Port State Control vessel inspections on foreign ships in five south and west coast ports: Mayaguez, Guanica, Guayanilla, Ponce, and Guayama. This includes Liquefied Natural Gas tankers, Oil & Chemical tankers, Freight Vessels, and the rare Cruise Ship.
Inspects a fleet of twenty-one Small Passenger Vessels, better known as “T” boats. These “T” boats carry passengers for hire to tourist destinations such as La Parguera’s Phosphorescent Bay, Guanica’s Gilligan’s Island, Mona & Desecheo Islands, and to Coffin Island from Ponce.
Conducts Safety & Security inspections on seventeen Designated Waterfront Facilities. This includes oil, chemical, LNG & LPG, and general freight facilities.
Investigates pollution incidents on over 100 miles of coastline, from Rincon to Guayama. Because of aggressive prevention campaigns by the Coast Guard, in recent years oil spills have declined considerably on the south and west coasts of Puerto Rico.
LT Yamaris D. Barril
Calle Bonaire #41
Ponce, PR 00716
Tel. (787) 284-4823
Fax. (787) 284-4738
For Coast Guard personnel stationed in Ponce, there are no military installations nearby. Housing is on the economy, and eligible dependents attend the Caribbean School, the only accredited English language school recognized by the DOD. DOD pays the tuition and fees for active duty dependents. Medical and dental care is also on the economy, choosing from a primary care manager from a list of doctors accredited by TRICARE.
Local activities are numerous, particularly water sports such as windsurfing, kite surfing, diving/snorkeling, and sailing. There are plenty of beautiful beaches to choose from, including the spectacular “Caracoles” in La Parguera, reachable only by small boat. A modern shopping mall keeps shoppers happy, but culture is what really defines Ponce and the surrounding areas.