USS Liberty - Bali's Most Famous Wreck

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Originally a World War I cargo vessel, the Liberty was 120m (400ft.) long, 20m (60 ft.) wide and grossed over 6000 tons. During the 2nd World War she was refitted as a US Army Transport vessel and on the 11th of January 1942, whilst Philippine bound laden with an Australian cargo of rubber and railway parts, she was critically torpedoed by a Japanese submarine (I-166) in the Lombok Strait. An attempt was made to tow her to Port at Singaraja in North Bali but she foundered and was beached at Tulamben.

For 21 years she lay on the shore and was stripped of cargo and fittings by local 'business men'.  When the volcano Mount Agung erupted in 1963, the Liberty was pushed off the beach into the sea where she resides today, a few fin-strokes from the shore. 

Impressively big despite being broken into several pieces, the Liberty's bow lies in 5m (15ft.) and her stern in 35m (110ft.) and there are many large holes in the hull enabling easy exploration.  

She is covered with invertebrates, hosting a superb variety of marine life. Australian author Rudi Kuiter estimates that over 400 species of reef fish live in the wreck and she is visited by another 100 or so species of Pelagic (larger, deep sea fish). According to the world renowned naturalist, Dr. Gerry Allen, the sheer number of species and the black sand background combine in Tulamben to provide unparalleled photographic opportunities!  There is so much to see and at so many levels, that all aspects of  photography are catered for.

Wally Siagian suggests that the Best Night Dive of your life
will be on Liberty at full moon!

Plan at least 2 days diving in Tulamben
and load your camera with a fresh roll of film each dive !

The Liberty wreck is featured in several of Rani's Movie Clips;
(Here they are in Microsoft AVI format, Apple QuickTime format movies are available from Rani's Movie Clips.)

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Fish Around
Liberty Wreck
(AVI - 1.36MB)
Diver Inside
Liberty Wreck
(AVI - 462KB)
Diver Outside
Liberty Wreck
(AVI- 760KB)

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A Diver Inside the Liberty Wreck
Wally Siagian

Paradise Palm Beach Bungalows is the perfect place to stay in Tulamben - ideally situated between the wreck and the drop-off