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Trig question

  1. Jan 13, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A ship in distress sends up flares that are visible to two other ships. The athabasca notes that the flares are a N41 degrees E of its position. The Britiannia, which is 12.7 nautical miles due east of the athabasca sees the flares at a bearing of 310 degrees. will the athabasca or the britannia reach the ship in distress first if they travel at equal speeds. Where do I start.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Start by drawing a picture!:smile:

    I suggest putting the athabasca at the origin, letting North represent the positive y-direction and East, the positive x-direction.

    Then label the position of the Britiannia and draw a vector pointing from the athabasca in the direction N 41 deg East and from the Britiannia at a bearing of 310 degrees. The point where those two vectors intersect is the location of the ship in distress. Find that location, then calculate which ship is closer.
  4. Jan 13, 2009 #3
    thank you for your help!!!!!!
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