trig
posted by jerson on .
a ship has maintained a bearing of 47 degrees. ( a bearing is the angle measured clockwise from due north)
a) how far has the ship sailed if it is 200 miles north of its original position?
b) how far east of its original position is the ship?
c) if the ship's average speed is 12 miles per hour, for how long has it been sailing?

Did you draw a diagram?
draw the path of the ship, this will be the hypotenuse, let its distance be h miles
draw the line to the yaxis
a) then cos 47º = 200/h
solve for h
b) sin 47º = x/h, where h is your result from a)
c) isn't time = distance/rate?
so time = h/12 hours 
The landlubber textbook writer means a "heading", not "bearing".
Heading is the direction your vehicle is pointing.
Bearing is the direction you measure toward a target from the vehicle.
If the target is straight ahead, then the bearing is the heading. If the target is off to the side, heading is not bearing.
As for how to answer the faulty question, see reply by Reiny above.