triggerfish - spotted while diving at the USAT Liberty shipwreck, Tulamben, Bali

Bali wreck dive – famous Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben

The Bali wreck dive at the USS Liberty shipwreck is the most famous dive site in the area. It’s one of the best sunken ship wreck dive sites in the world! This post is all about Liberty wreck diving in Tulamben Bali.

History of the Liberty ship at the Bali wreck dive site

The famous dive at Tulamben features the Liberty shipwreck. This was the “USAT Liberty“. Note, I’m using quotes because it sounds like it’s not actually the Liberty. While often referred to as the USS Liberty, it’s actually USAT – US Army Transport Liberty.

It was heading across the Lombok Strait in 1942, working as a cargo ship during World War II. Then it was hit by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine. They tried to pull it out it but it didn’t make it. For years it was beached in Tulamben, grounded in the shallow part of Tulamben bay for more than twenty years.

Then Mount Agung erupted in 1963, pushing it off shore. The subsequent earthquakes caused the ship to roll out into deeper water and broke its bow and stern.

Bali Wreck Dive site – where is the Liberty now?

Now it lies on a sand slope in 9 to 30 meters of water. The wreck is about 130 meters long. This includes the shallowest part at about 5 meters deep. Also, the deepest part is on the other side of the wreck at about 30 meters deep. The USAT Liberty wreck diving experience was awesome!

Video clip of the Liberty at Tulamben

Here’s a video of the USS Liberty shipwreck dive:

My first wreck dive!

The Bali wreck dive at the USS Liberty in Tulamben was my first wreck dive. A wreck dive means SCUBA diving through a shipwreck. I found it fascinating!

We went SCUBA diving in 2 sites in Bali — Tulamben and Nusadua. For both we entered the water right off the beach.

Fish at the Liberty shipwreck dive

We also saw Scorpion Fish, Unicornfish, lots of Angelfish, 1 Sea Turtle, and Jacks:

parrotfish near the USAT Liberty wreck diving
triggerfish during Liberty wreck diving - USAT Liberty shipwreck dive site
squirrelfish during Liberty wreck diving - USS Liberty dive site

You might see another surprise guest. For example, I found myself eye-to-eye with a white tipped reef shark!

Whitetip Reef Shark - named for the tip of the fin

The story of my first surprise shark experience is told here.

Would you like to do a wreck dive?

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