USS Liberty Shipwreck SCUBA Dive Sites

Category: TulambenUSS Liberty Shipwreck
This shipwreck is probably the easiest wreck diving in the world. The Liberty was motoring across the Lombok Strait in 1942, working as a cargo ship during World War II, when the ship was hit by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine. Two destroyers which had been accompanying her towed her toward Singaraja on Bali's north coast. But she took on too much water and didn't make it to Singaraja. Instead she was beached in Tulamben. The Liberty sat grounded in the shallow part of Tulamben bay for more than twenty years until Mount Agung erupted in 1963. The subsequent earthquakes caused the ship to roll out into deeper water and broke her at bow and stern. She has been lying there ever since. Once you gear up, just swim perpendicular of the beach around 35 meters. If you prefer to start from the bow, then the off road street would be your rule of thumb, otherwise if you prefer stern, find the end of the restaurant, swim direct from there. Once you see the wreck, group of surgeonfishes (Acanthurus sp) will swim around you. It is because for quite a long time some divers feed them rice, bread or banana. We strongly disagree with this kind of attraction since it would change the feeding behavior of them. Also, you have to be careful with the scalpel-like spine on each side of the tail base. It can cause painful wound on you! The shipwreck itself is about 120 meters length and many species live there. Although it is not usual, we encounter a one and half meters Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) and our friends saw his very first Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) in 28 meters depth. Even I met my first 1.2 meters teenager White tip shark (Triaenodon obesus) chasing a giant trevalley (Caranx ignobilis) during dive four of my Open Water course there. During one of our night dives there, we found out that a one-meter bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) slept in one of the protected area of the wreck. Some fellows divers spotted a pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) at the sea fan close to the bow. Ask him how to find it, he would be more than glad to tell you. The water is usually calm with low current and good visibility (15-25 meters). The problem diving there is its popularity that makes many divers visiting Tulamben will dive it. Awful buoyancy will reduce the visibility since the sand will go up from the bottom. Blue spotted stingray (Dasyatis kuhlii) and huge, swirling, ball of big eye jack fish (Caranx sexfasciatus) also common encountered here. One notable event is when we do our safety stop, we often encounter juvenile fishes of any kind. If you happened to do the safety stop close to the stern, try to find the garden eel (Heteroconger polyzona).
Access: Once you are in Tulamben area, you can either ride the car through the main street and find the off-road street toward the beach (Puri Mada) or you can walk through the rocky beach heading north from your hotel, I assume you stay at a hotel next to the beach.
Visibility: 10-30 meters
Current: No current
Marine life: Blue spotted stingray, jack fish, surgeon fish
Accomodation: Small motels to 4-stars resort
Tips: Dive here early in the morning to avoid being in the middle of 'carnaval'
Difficulty: Easy