In a dramatic helicopter rescue, a small dog was saved from a frozen mountain ledge in Scotland.
For much of the year, the Scottish Highlands are an idyllic piece of the world that will remind anyone of a fantasy adventure novel. But during the winter months, Scotland becomes an icy hellscape, the likes of which we hope you never have to experience. Sorry, Scotland.
Ben, the small Cavalier King Charles spaniel and bichon frise mix, found that out that hard way earlier this week.
While on a trip with his family near Loch Avon, Ben ran away into the wilderness. He ran off on Monday, and on Tuesday a blizzard came roaring through and blanketed the whole area in snow and ice.
For two days, Ben suffered in the cold and snow without food or water. But then, a miracle.
A helicopter from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency was out on a training mission on Wednesday when they spotted Ben on a small ledge over a 200-foot vertical drop. How Ben managed to get up the mountain without freezing to death is anyone’s guess, but that’s where he was.
The Coastguard wasn’t about to let a small, shivering dog freeze to death on the side of a mountain. Just as they trained to, they lowered down a rescue worker who gathered up the poor pooch and then winched them both back into the safety of the hovering chopper.
"The weather had luckily presented them an ideal window of opportunity to use the rest of their training time to rescue the dog,” wrote the Agency in a Facebook post. "The dog was terrified and cold, so it was flown to the nearby Glenmore Lodge who then rushed it to the Strathspey Vets.”
Ben was covered in snow, ice, and dirt, but he was alive. Rescuers cuddled him for warmth as he was airlifted to the nearby helicopter base, where the Coastguard took this amusing video:
Here's a happy Ben 🐶 walking around after his 48 hour ordeal stranded in terrible weather in the #Cairngorms. Rescued whilst the Inverness Coastguard helicopter crew were out on essential winter training! #allsafe #trainingmatters More here: http://hmcoastguard.blogspot.com/Posted by Maritime and Coastguard Agency on Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Luckily for Ben, he made a full recovery and is now back home with his family. Hopefully next time they’ll keep Ben on a leash to prevent him from running off in the future.
But if he does, at least we know the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will be there to save him.