With a length of 110 meters and a width of 16 meters, the Liberty wreck is among the most accessible and renowned wreck diving sites in the world. Situated just 25 meters from the shore, with depths ranging from 5 to 30 meters, the Liberty wreck is accessible to snorkelers and divers of all levels. Let’s take a look at the USAT Liberty history and description of this unique dive site.

History of the USAT Liberty

USS Liberty navigating

The USS Liberty is one of a series of 48 ships built in the USA between 1918 and 1920 by the Emergency Fleet Corporation. This corporation was established in 1917 in order to meet the demand for commerce during World War I.

During and after the war, the Liberty conducted multiple voyages between New York and France. It transported essentially horses, steel railway parts and general army cargo.

From Ship to Shipwreck

In November 1940, the Liberty was one of the ten ships taken by the US Army to join its defense fleet. As The United States entered the war in November 1941, the Liberty was already in the Pacific, fulfilling its role as a cargo vessel. In January 1942, the ship it was sailing from Australia to the Philippines with a cargo of railway parts and rubber before being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.

The vessel began to sink after being hit near the Lombok Strait, leading rescuers to attempt to tow her to a safe port in the north of Bali. Unfortunately, the severe damage necessitated the deliberate beaching of the vessel in Tulamben in order to salvage what remained of the cargo.

The empty ship was resting on the beach until another historical event, the eruption of Mount Agung in 1963. This dramatic eruption killed over 1500 people and destroyed 1700 houses. The seismic activity from the eruption pushed the ship back into the ocean, settling on a black sand slope, just 25 meters from the shore. It is this volcanic event that unexpectedly created an extraordinary dive site, attracting divers from all over the world.

One of Indonesia’s most popular dive sites

USAT Liberty Wreck Map

Diving the USAT Liberty Wreck is fascinating to both history enthusiasts and diving aficionados. The shipwreck’s accessible depth, ranging from 5 to 30 meters, accommodates divers of different experience levels.

One remarkable aspect of this site is the ease of access to the wreck: a simple shore entry and less than 30 meters to cover before reaching the wreck. The clear waters and the abundance of marine life make the Liberty an ideal spot for underwater photography enthusiasts. Divers encounter various corals and fish species. From giant garden eels to sweetlips, turtles, humphead parrotfish and reef sharks, the Liberty wreck is teeming with life.

Exploring the USAT Liberty wreck during daylight offers an incredible experience. However, diving into this famous site at night reveals a stunning display of vibrant colors and marine life. This provides a completely different perspective of the USAT Liberty.

For many divers, a night dive on the Liberty stands out as one of their most memorable experiences. Exploring a sunken wreck evokes a sense of being a treasure hunter or an archaeologist. Yet, navigating the same wreck in darkness, armed with a powerful flashlight, amplifies the intensity of the adventure.

Divers can venture into the wreck’s passages and cargo holds, encountering remnants of the ship’s history. From deck guns to bathrooms, eerie yet fascinating remains of the ship’s past await exploration.

The wreck stands not only as a sunken relic from history but also as a vibrant underwater ecosystem. It offers an unforgettable diving experience that beautifully intertwines nature and the remnants of a significant historical event.

Are you interested in diving into this treasure of the past? Contact our team of dive travel experts, and we will create together an unforgettable and unique adventure!

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