Both suggest the boats are floating. "In" is used because the Mediterranean Sea is a specific area which the boats are within, very much like saying that something is in China. "On" is possible because they are on the water. Which one is best depends on the context in which you are using the sentence. In any case, in British English at any rate, it is quite normal to say that a boat is in the water, meaning it is floating on top. "On" tends to get used only for lightweight craft that skim the surface such as racing dinghies and rowing eights, hovercraft and hydrofoils, not container ships or oil tankers.Hello
Could you please tell me which sentence means that the ship is sailing (not sinking):
Three Indian ships are now in the Mediterranean Sea.
Three Indian ships are now on the Mediterranean Sea.
And will there be any difference in our choice of preposition if we used "are sailing" instead of just "are"?
Thank you.Both suggest the boats are floating. "In" is used because the Mediterranean Sea is a specific area which the boats are within, very much like saying that something is in China.
Yes, it can be used that way, too.Not sure if we use "in" for specific seas as geographic areas (i.e. in Baltic sea)
In this case, "in the water" really means "in use". It's not like they are going to have some in water and some in oil and some in ketchup. It's a contrast to being out of use (and maybe physically out of the water) for repairs or whatever other reason."X shipping company has 30 Tanker ships in the water"