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Debris in Hawaii may date to ships that sank in 1822

HONOLULU — In what is being called a "mind-blowing" discovery, divers have found anchors, cauldrons and cannonballs near a remote Hawaiian atoll where two British whaling ships were lost nearly two centuries ago.

If the debris is confirmed to have come from the two ships that sank in 1822, it would be the earliest Western shipwreck discovered in the Hawaiian Islands, said maritime heritage coordinator Hans Van Tilburg.

Divers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration came upon the wreckage on Sept. 20 while removing marine debris from reefs on Pearl and Hermes Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, 1,210 miles northwest of Honolulu.