By the end of August, nearly 19,000 African migrants had landed in the Canary Islands, smashing the previous annual record of 9,900 in 2002.
The men, women and children have made a hazardous journey in small boats, attracted by the lure of European prosperity.
They sometimes arrive dehydrated and exhausted on tourist beaches.
Tourists can provide water and juice, but not the medical help the exhausted migrants often need.
Medical checks, and treatment, are provided by the Red Cross.
The migrants sometimes try to conceal their nationality to avoid repatriation. The EU has provided experts trained to establish their identity.
Despite the launching of an EU operation aimed at turning back migrants in African coastal waters, there are still days when arrivals number in the hundreds.
Estimates of the number that have died in transit range from several hundred to 3,000. In 2006, about 5,000 had been repatriated by the end of August.