Winchman Kate Willoughby holds Ben the dog after he was rescued in the Cairngorms in Inverness, Scotland. Picture: AP

London - It was a routine winter training mission in northeastern Scotland until the Maritime and Coastguard Agency crew spotted a stranded dog on the snowy Cairngorms mountains below.

They couldn't fly away and leave the dog in trouble, so winchman Mark Stevens was lowered to the ground, scooped up the cold and frightened animal, and both were raised back to the helicopter.

According to BBC.com, when he was found, the dog was caked in snow after spending hours in wintry, windy conditions. He was spotted just as cloud cleared when the helicopter was circling overhead.

The dog, named Ben, was cuddled and warmed on board before being rushed to a veterinarian.

It turns out Ben had been missing for two days in dangerous weather caused by Storm Gareth.

Watch the rescue video below:

Officials say Ben has recovered from exposure and has been reunited with his owner. A Coastguard spokesperson said: "The weather had luckily presented them an ideal window of opportunity to use the rest of their training time to rescue the dog."

AP