The Tragedy of the SS Brilliant

The shimmering turquoise waters of the Arabian sea lapped gently against the hull of the SS Brilliant, as though eager to reclaim the vessel into its marine embrace once again. It was the winter of 1867, and a final haul of valuable cargo was being loaded into the massive freighter – the rarest Chinese silks, the finest Indian cashmere, the most valuable African diamonds.

As the ship's bell struck 08:00, its engines began to rumble, and clouds of white steam emerged from the stacks, dispersing in the cool morning air. The SS Brilliant had set sail perpendicular to the straight Arabian coastline at a steady clip of 8 knots!

Unbeknownst to the captain of the SS Brilliant, a band of ruthless pirates – who had been hiding in a sheltered cove several nautical miles away along the straight coastline – had set sail at the very instant the SS Brilliant had, at twice the speed of the huge cargo ship! Their bearing? Always towards the SS Brilliant...

Just as the ship's bell struck 11:00, a tremendous shudder ran through the SS Brilliant: the pirate ship had just collided with them, bringing them to an immediate halt! Armed with dirks, cutlasses and muskets, and wearing savage grins, the pirates stormed the SS Brilliant and after a brief, bloody battle, captured and executed the entire crew of the cargo vessel.

After loading the priceless cargo into their hold, and congratulating themselves on their successful raid – which had taken them a total of 3 hours and 14 minutes – the pirates headed straight back to their sheltered cove at a speed of 12 knots. At what time did they reach it, to the nearest minute?

Inspired by Problem 1.13 of I.E. Irodov's Problems in General Physics

×

Problem Loading...

Note Loading...

Set Loading...