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Indonesia :: Bali : Liberty Wreck

The USAT Liberty is Bali's most famous dive site. Built circa WWI this cargo ship was equipped with guns for WWII and was torpedoed by the Japanese off Lombok on the 11th of January, 1942. Two US destroyers hitched up to the ship and tried to tow it to the port of Singaraja. The damage was immense, she was taking too much water and her crew ran the vessel up onto the beach of Tulamben 70km away from the nearest safe harbor. Over the years anything reusable was removed by locals. In 1963 the Liberty was pushed to her present location by the fatal eruption of the volcano Gunung Agung. During this process the hull broke into two pieces. Now she is laying only 30 meters from the Tulamben beach on a sandy slope 90° on her side parallel to the shore.

The Liberty wreck dive is suitable for all levels of qualification and experience. It is the only Bali dive site that can actually become crowded as day trippers from the south brave the three hour drive for their two dives. She lies in depths from 9 to 30 meters; the shallowest part of the wreck, where it touches the sand slope, is at 5 to 10 meters. Depth along the middle of the wreck is 16 to 20 meters. The lower edge of the wreck, ie: furthest down the slope, is 20 to 28 meters (at high tide). The wreck is 120 meters long, it's pretty broken up so no penetration is possible but you can still see the guns, toilets, boilers, anchor chain, etc. It is a lovely dive site and possibly the world's easiest wreck dive.

The wreck is now completely covered in healthy coral growth, and the numerous structural holes provide endless opportunities for exploration. Soft corals dominate here, with crinoids, featherstars and hydroids. Fish life here is simply awesome with marine biologists estimating that about 400 different species of reef fish live on the Liberty alone. Most of the medium sized fish have become tame and will literally swarm divers in the shallows. Night diving the wreck especially on a full moon is an amazing experience where Spanish dancers and flashlight fish can be seen amongst the swirling phosphorescence.


Depths: 5 - 30m

Viz: 5 - 25m

Currents: Weak

Getting there : Beach dive.

Best months: Apr to Oct