A TOTAL of 90 African migrants desperate to reach Europe were rescued by Spanish authorities over the weekend.

Police said 44 migrants were intercepted in Spanish waters on Sunday, while another 46 were rescued on Saturday, a local government official said.

Thousands of undocumented migrants from Africa try to cross the 15km strait from Morocco into Spain on makeshift boats and inflatable dinghies each year.

Spain’s maritime rescue services have picked up 1,396 migrants from boats off of its coast between January 1 and September 16, compared to 1,709 during the same period last year.

Thousands of migrants also try to enter Spanish soil overland by scaling the border fences that surround Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish exclaves surrounded by Morocco that have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.