48ft is correct

Solution:

Fraction of pole in the ground = 1/2

Fraction of pole covered by water = 1/3

Fraction of pole in the ground and covered by water = 1/2 + 1/3 = (3 + 2)/6 = 5/6

Fraction of pole out of water = 1 - 5/6 = 1/6

Thus, one-sixth of the pole (out of water) is 8 ft.

So, total length of pole = 48 ft.

It may be noted that:

Length of pole in the ground = 48/2 = 24 ft.

Length of pole covered by water = 48/3 = 16 ft.

Length of pole out of water = 8 ft.

The problem may also be solved by setting up the following equation: x/2 + x/3 + 8 = x

where x denotes the total length of the pole in ft.

The equation may be solved as shown below.

5x/6 + 8 = x

8 = x - 5x/6 = x/6

x/6 = 8 or x = 48.