600 migrants helped to shore in Spanish coastguard's busiest day for rescues

Thousands of migrants have risked their lives crossing to Europe Credit: AP

Spain's coastguard has rescued about 600 migrants in just 24 hours, as the country sees a spike in migrant arrivals.

The migrants, who were sailing across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco, were found in 15 vessels, including a jet ski.

The majority were form North Africa and the Sub-Sahara region.

Spanish authorities have rescued about 600 migrants in just 24 hours

Italy is the main stopping point for migrants crossing to Europe, but Spain is expected this year to overtake Greece as the second-largest gateway.

Last week beach-goers in southern Spain watched as a dinghy carrying African migrants came ashore and the migrants dispersed into the countryside.

More than 8,300 illegal migrants have reached Spain in the first seven months of the year, accoring to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

However, nearly 100,000 have crossed from Libya to Italy since the start of the year

Tens of thousands of migrants from Africa attempt the perilous crossing to Europe in smugglers' boats each year and thousands drown along the way.