An anchorage position in most cases is specified by higher authority.
Anchorages for most ports are assigned by the local port authority in
response to individual or joint requests for docking or visit. Naval ships
submit a port visit (PVST) request letter or logistic requirement
(LOGREQ) message well in advance of the ships scheduled arrival
date. Operational anchorages in areas outside the jurisdiction of an
established port authority are normally assigned by the senior officer
present afloat (SOPA) for ships under his or her command.
If a ship is steaming independently and is required to anchor in other
than an established port, the selection of an anchorage is usually made
by the navigator and then approved by the commanding officer. In all
cases, however, regardless of whether the anchorage is selected by
higher authority or by the navigator, the following conditions should
always apply insofar as possible:
The anchorage should be at a position sheltered from the effects of
strong winds and current.
The bottom should be good holding ground, such as mud or sand
rather than rocks or reefs.
The water depth should be neither too shallow, hazarding the ship,
nor too deep, facilitating the dragging of the anchor.
The position should be free from such hazards to the anchor cable as
fish traps, buoys, and submarine cables.
The position should be free from such hazards as shoals and
There should be a suitable number of landmarks, daymarks, and
lighted NAVAIDs available for fixing the ships position both by
day and by night.
If boat runs to shore are to be made, the anchorage chosen should be
in close proximity to the intended landing.