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Shipwreck of the USAT Liberty

The USAT Liberty is an US Army cargo ship which measures 120 metres length and 17 metres in width . It was built in 1918. The 1037 class ship was commissioned by the American Shipping Council and was related to the First World War. It was the first ship built by the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company of Kney in New Jersey.

It was requisitioned by the US Army during World War II and used as a livestock transport vessel under the name USS Liberty. In January 1942, it was hit by two Japanese submarine torpedoes and began to sink near the island of Bali. After attempting to tow it to the capital of Bali (Singaraja at the time), the hull was breached and the boat filled with water, therefore the US army had to abandon it on the beach of a fishing village named Tulamben.

In 1963, a volcanic eruption pulled the ship 30 metres off the beach due to the earthquake, today the wreck of the Liberty is a popular dive site. The wreck is now home to a rich fauna that has built itself up. Fish lay their eggs here, can hide and isolate themselves more easily from predators. The Liberty Wreck is rich in corals as well as underwater fauna such as parrot fish, sea snake, butterfly fish, unicorn fish, barracudas, pygmy seahorses hidden in the multicoloured gorgonians, groupers, platax, angel fish,...

USAT Liberty, 1941

Now, it's possible to dive to enjoy the colorful fauna that can be found there. You can dive from 5 metres (at the stern) to the bow, which is 28 metres deep. Despite the damaged hull, parts of the ship are still intact and even accessible. It is possible to dive here during the day but also at night, it's up to you.

This is a dive you shouldn't miss! Especially for macro and underwater photography lovers!


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