Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Rita, a student:

A ship leaves the port of Miami with a bearing of S80degreesE and a speed of 15 knots. After 1 hour, the ship turns 90 degrees toward the south. After 2 hours, maintaining the same speed, what is the bearing to the ship from port?



bearing diagram

Miami is at M, the ship sails to T and then to F. Since the bearing of the trip from M to T is S80 degrees E the angle SMT has measure 80 degrees. The ship travels at 15 knots on this leg so what is the length of MT in nautical miles? What is the distance from T to F in nautical miles?

Triangle MFT is a right triangle so use the tangent function to find the measure of angle FMT. What is the measure of angle FMS? What is the bearing of the ship at its final position F from M?


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