The ginormous USAT Liberty Wreck rests on its side off the beach at Tulamben in north-eastern Bali. All 120 meters of the American supply ship wreckage run aground shore-side at the foot of the Bali’s largest volcano Gunung Agung.
The decks of the sunken hulk face seaward and provide a unique widespread habitat for thousands of aquatic animals and plants. The Liberty Wreck is so close to the shore and sections of the ruins are so shallow that this is an extraordinary shipwreck shore dive for scuba divers as well as those who like to go snorkeling.
USAT LIBERTY WRECK DIVE FACTS
Average Depth: 14m
Maximum Depth: 29m
Underwater Visibility: 15 - 30m
General Currents: Weak to Mild
Unusual Hazards: None Noted
Points Of Interest: Barracuda, Anthias, Turtles, Stingrays, Batfish, Bream, Trevally, Jacks, Yellow-tail Fusiliers, Pygmy Seahorses, Sweetlips, Scorpion Fish, Angelfish, Nudibranch, Lionfish, Puffer Fish, Hawkfish, Gobies, Blennies, Coral Trout,Shrimps, Butterfly Fish, Bump-head Parrot Fish, Napoleon Wrasse, Gorgonian Sea Fans, Dottybacks, Anemone Fish.
The USS Liberty was a steam cargo ship that was hit by the Japanese while it was anchored off the Lombok Strait coastline during the second world war. On January the 11th in 1942, the damage from a Japanese torpedo strike rendered the ship inoperable. Incredibly there were no serious casualties.
The US Navy towed the non-functioning derelict hull remains to its planned destination of Singaraja harbour in the north of Bali island. The naval operation failed to meet its intended destination and the ship was abandoned and stranded close to Tulamben rocky beach. The ruin was subsequently unloaded of its cargo and valuables.
Mount Agung is the largest volcano in Bali which towers over the sleep village of Tulamben. In 1963 the volcano erupted. The eruption was so fierce that the magma flow pushed the shipwreck back around 40 meters into the sea. Nature has taken over the vessel producing a magnificent shallow water coral reef. Currently, the USAT Liberty rests in depths as shallow as four meters down to the mid section around 20 meters deep. The deepest part of the wreck is close to 30 meters at high tide.
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