USAT Liberty Ship Wreck



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Submitter Comments:
The Liberty wreck is Bali’s most famous dive site. Built circa WWI this cargo ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine off Lombok. Despite attempts to tow the ship to north Bali it was taking on too much water and so was semi-beached at Tulamben. Over the years anything reusable was removed. In 1963, with the earth tremors from the last eruption of Mount Agung, the wreck slid further down the slope where it still lies (as close to the beach as it can be and still be underwater!). The Liberty lies approximately 30m offshore almost parallel to the beach on the sand slope, and is suitable for all levels of qualification and experience. The wreck lies in depths from 9-30m. The shallowest part of the wreck, where it touches the sand slope, is at 5-10m. Depth along the middle of the wreck averages 16-20m. The lower edge of the wreck is 20-28m (at high tide). The wreck is 120m long, it is quite broken up but you can still see the guns, toilets, boilers, anchor chain, etc. It is a lovely dive site, possibly the world’s easiest wreck dive. You can also snorkel on the wreck - the highest point of the stern is about 4m below the surface. Visibility is usually 18-25m, lower when it has been raining. There is rarely a current present, at most it will be mild. During the 3 days before the full moon, there are usually waves. The air temperature is 25-32 degrees, the water 26-28 degrees. The wreck is very popular with photographers as it is totally encrusted in anemone, gorgonians and corals. The black sand provides an excellent colour contrast for the incredible variety of marine life, which includes a huge school of big-eyed trevally and over 400 other species of fish. You will see just about everything in any Indo-Pacific Reef Guide book if you dive here. The variety is amazing. Night diving on the wreck is fantastic, especially during full moon. You may see Spanish dancers, flashlight fish, and phosphorescence.



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Diver Reviews:    Click here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!

07/30/2005 Jackie (Avg: 4.05 Review) - I have visited this site twice- once in 2001 and again in 2005. Still a good site as I did not notice any deterioration. Exits and entries can be a little challenging, with exits being the most troublesome. I would advise to take your time before heading out to be sure you have the energy. There are larger boulders to stumble over, so be cautious but speedy in the surf. Great site, though.

02/13/2005 Ed Kenney (Avg: 3.86 Review) - I stayed two weeks in Tulamben, one in 2001 and another in 2003. Both times the conditions on the Liberty wreck were excellent, but the second summer there was more plankton in the water and more diversity of fish life.
The diversity and abundance of fish and wreck encrustation is like no other wreck I have been on. It demands multiple dives. The local porters take your gear down the beach a half mile unless you're near one of the newer resorts and then they bring your gear back across the stony beach when you're done. It's only a buck for this porterage and helps the villagers immensely.
What can you see? Everything, including the "coral" another poster here said was absent. There's plenty of soft coral, some hard coral and tremendous bouquets of tunicates, bryozoans, sponges, wire corals etc. The huge swirling schools of jacks usually take center stage, though a friend of mine said one of the schools has now moved down the beach in front of the Paradise hotel. In addition to the jacks are hundreds of species - you will definitely see something you haven't seen before. The second summer I was there, the upslope section of the wreck was far better than the first time - the first thing I noticed were the huge blue-ringed angelfish on top of the wreck. I rested there next to a vertical congregation of two types of sweetlips, just watching those blue rings. Not too far away were the garden eel beds and flats filled with blue-ringed stingrays. Just past that were the two huge stonefish guardians, then all the black sand muck diving for bumblebee shrimp, mantis shrimp, pipefish etc. When I looked down to get one last view before I exited there was a school of bumphead parrotfish and a solitary Napoleon. A scrawled filefish at least three feet long, which I normally see lower down, came up for a send-off as well. It was an incredible end to a dive.
Local guides can show you all the different morays, scorpionfish, frogfish, leaf fish, pygmy seahorses, shells that you can name. Rarely was I able to find these myself.
Try the dive at all times of day, except when a busload or liveaboard load of divers shows up. Late afternoon is really a ghostly, lonely time on this wreck.
By all means, buy the Periplus edition for Bali diving written by David Pickell and Wally Siagian. It shows you parts of this wreck that are hard to discover in only a couple dives on your own.
Though I like the Drop-off site better than the Liberty, perhaps because it's a natural reef and fewer people dive it, it recommend the Liberty whole-heartedly. It's almost a can't miss dive.

04/13/2004 Brian Cherniak (Avg: 3.88 Review) - What a great dive. Definitely worth the 2 1/2 hour drive from Sanur. It is so good, that I was willing to endure the 2 1/2 hour drive twice. I did the dive a total of 4 times while I was there. A WWII wreck from shore. A diver's dream.

02/10/2004 Mike Spengel (Avg: 4.02 Review) - CAUTION - The exit can be very difficult with any little surf at all. There is no coral and the bottom is black sand.

Dive Site Pictures:
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Special thanks to Raymond Clark!
Liberty Wreck.
Submitted by Raymond Clark

Special thanks to Raymond Clark!
Liberty Wreck.
Submitted by Raymond Clark

Special thanks to Raymond Clark!
Liberty Wreck.
Submitted by Raymond Clark

Special thanks to Raymond Clark!
Liberty Wreck.
Submitted by Raymond Clark

Special thanks to Raymond Clark!
Liberty Wreck.
Submitted by Raymond Clark


Diver Averages for  USAT Liberty Ship Wreck  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.00
Bottom Conditions:  4.75
Reef Conditions:  3.50
Animal Life:  4.75
Plant Life:  3.75
Facilities:  3.75
Solitude 2.25
Roads:  3.25
*Site Average:  3.95

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.75
Beginner Scuba:  4.25
Intermediate Scuba:  4.75
Advanced Scuba:  4.50
Night diving Scuba:  5.00

Number of reviews for this site: 4


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