Bali’s Famous US Liberty Shipwreck is one of the main reasons why divers flock to Tulamben. The USAT (United States Army Transport) Liberty lays in relatively shallow, calm water just 30 meters out from the beach, and at 5m-30m it is suitable for all diver levels.
History of the Liberty shipwreck
The Liberty was built as a 120 meter long cargo ship which was equipped with two guns for World War II. In January 1942 the ship was torpedoed by the Japanese whilst it was anchored off the Lombok coast, incredibly no-one was hurt but the ship was badly damaged.
The US Navy proceeded to tow the ship to northern Bali to the harbor of Singaraja, however the plan fell short as the harbor was already fully occupied leaving the US no option other than to ground the ship on the beach of Tulamben to be unloaded. The ship was stripped bare and left to be returned to when the Singaraja harbor became available. However the war efforts diverted attention away from the damaged ship and in 1963 it was still grounded on the beach in Tulamben when Mount Agung erupted. The lava flow from the volcano pushed the ship off the beach and back into the sea to its current resting place.
The US Liberty shipwreck now lays parallel to the beach – as she slipped into the water she listed on to her side and she lays with the deck facing the open ocean, the starboard side underneath and the port side facing up to the surface. The shallowest part of the wreck is only around 5 meters where the superstructure stretches upwards, the deepest part is around 28m – 30m where the bow has settled into the sand. If you approach directly from the shore the main bulk of the wreck starts at around 10 – 12 meters.
Diving the USAT Liberty Shipwreck
This wreck is easily one of Bali’s most famous dive sites and actually one of the most famous dive-able shipwrecks in the world.
The Liberty shipwreck is not only completely encrusted in colourful corals, but she is also now a healthy living reef which is home to over 400 species of fish. Many key features of the wreck are easily recognisable, including the canon, the captains wheel, steel doorways, the massive anchor and the huge cargo holds.
The wreck starts in just 5 meters of water and extends down to around 30 meters which makes it a suitable dive for all levels. Conditions in Tulamben are good all year round with warm water and little current.
For those taking the PADI specialty, the wreck has areas that can be penetrated so you’ll learn how to safely navigate and enter a wreck too! If you are taking the Advanced program but aren’t sure about making the wreck dive, it’s also the perfect place to make your deep dive to 30 meters, fish identification dive and even a night dive!
Diving with Two Fish Divers
Diving the US Liberty shipwreck couldn’t be easier for all types of divers than when you stay with us at our Two Fish Divers Amed Resort which is only 15mins from the wreck. Amed also offer walls, corals, slopes and muck dives, and if you like wrecks there is also the Japanese wreck.
For those who are staying in Kuta/ Seminyak or Sanur we offer day-trips to Tulamben from our dive center in Sanur. We’ll pick you up from your accommodation, provide comfortable, air conditioned return transport to Tulamben, and take you diving on the shipwreck. You can decide to do a 2nd dive on the wreck or dive the drop-off.
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For more information about this epic Bali dive site, or to make a booking, fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.