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Solutions To solve this problem we have to use the Pythagorean theorem. You can only use the Pythagorean theorem in Right Triangles. The longest side of the triangle is called the "hypotenuse". C² is the longest side so it is the hypotenuse . To calculate c² we have to do α² + β² = c². Given A boat travelling east is across a river is 112 meters wide at 8 meters per second. If the river has a northward current of 5 meters per second, what is the speed. 8 meters per second would be α 5 meters per second would be β Unknown would be c Now we have points α β c. a² (8) + β² ( 5) = c² (x) Calculations a² (8) + β² ( 5) = c² (x) a² = 8² b² = 5² 8² = 64 5² = 25 Now we have 64 + 25 = 89 √89 = 9.4 9.4 = c Answer = 9.4