You are going on a cruise. Two days into the cruise your ship experiences technical difficulties and the captain says it needs to make an unscheduled stop. A couple of hours later the captain makes another announcement that the ship’s hull has been breached and that you will all need to start heading to life rafts and abandon ship. The ship’s life rafts are lowered as people begin to pile in and you get on board one of the life rafts.
As it is lowered however, it hits the side of the ship, putting a hole in the side of the raft, and when it hits the water it begins to sink. There are 10 people in the boat and to prevent it sinking, you quickly work out that by having 9 people working for 10 minutes while 1 person rests you can bail the water out with their hands, quickly enough to keep the water at bay and preventing it from sinking, but you have to continually keep it up to ensure that the boat doesn’t sink. By being able to rest one person you are greatly able to increase the length of time you can keep the boat afloat, however if the rescue team doesn’t turn up you calculate that within 5 hours the boat will sink and you will all die.
While taking your break, you glance over to another boat and notice that a friend of yours whom you met on the boat is there and has noticed your predicament. He is signaling for you to come over and join them on their boat so you don’t have to continue bailing water out. There is only just enough room for one more person. You also notice that their boat is moving away rapidly with the current, but your boat can’t keep up because the hole is affecting its buoyancy.
You estimate that if you jump ship, you will force all 9 remaining crew members to bail water continuously, which will reduce the total time they can stay afloat to just 2 hours, but will ensure that you will be able to live long enough to be rescued.
If you stay aboard, you will not have another chance to jump ship, and there’s no guarantee that the rescue will arrive in 5 hours, meaning you will all drown, however by staying you give everyone a better chance of survival.
As you watch the boat with your friend drift away, you realize you have about 30 seconds to make a decision.
Do you stay on your current boat and help keep it afloat as long as possible and hope that the rescue will arrive in 5 hours, or do you go to your friend’s boat, ensuring your rescue, but reducing the chances of the others on the boat being rescued?