Greece's coast guard says it has rescued 665 migrants at sea in 20 search-and-rescue operations off the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Agathonissi, Kos and Megisti in the 24 hours from Thursday morning to Friday morning.
The figures do not include the hundreds more who reach the islands' shores from the nearby Turkish coast each day, most of them using inflatable dinghies. The vast majority of those arriving in Greece are Syrian and Afghan refugees.
The migrants pouring into Greece are hoping to travel north via the Balkans and apply for asylum in wealthy European Union nations like Germany, Austria or Sweden. Greece, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary have been overwhelmed this summer by the tens of thousands of migrants traveling through their countries.