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Stranded dog rescued from Cairngorms by helicopter crew

Ben the cavachon was airlifted from a 200ft gully by a coastguard team on Wednesday.

A dog which was stranded for two days has been rescued from a 200ft gully on the Cairngorms.

The cavachon, called Ben, was spotted on a narrow ledge by a coastguard team during Storm Gareth.

Inverness crew members were on a training exercise on Wednesday when they spotted the dog perched precariously on the ledge.

It came two days after he ran off during a hike with his owners, who spotted him on the ledge a day after he went missing.

Ben was then rescued and taken to the Strathspey Veterinary Centre and has been reunited with its owner.

Owner Fiona Young said: "I was heartbroken knowing he was out there in the awful weather.

"When my husband found him and had to leave him this was even more distressing.

"I was sick with worry and our whole family was so upset."

Mrs Young said she was "overwhelmed" when she heard the news of Ben's rescue.

She said: "I was overwhelmed with relief, joy.

"I was crying when I got the message."

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman said: "Today whilst out on essential training, our Inverness Coastguard helicopter crew were presented with an ideal opportunity to test their winter flying skills.

Rescue: Ben was on a narrow ledge.
Rescue: Ben was on a narrow ledge. Maritime and Coastguard Agency

"A little dog, who had been missing for 48 hours in the terrible weather conditions of Storm Gareth, was spotted on a narrow ledge with a 200ft vertical drop below by the Coastguard helicopter crew.

"The Inverness helicopter crew were undertaking some essential winter training with another winchman visiting from Humberside Coastguard helicopter base at Stag Rocks in the Cairngorms.

"To put their winter skills to the test, the two winchmen were dropped off at a nearby bothy to undertake essential medical training in the snow.

Saved: Ben was rescued from a 200ft gully.
Saved: Ben was rescued from a 200ft gully. Maritime and Coastguard Agency

"The remaining helicopter crew flew off to simulate a refuel and as they circled 1000ft up Loch Avon in the Cairngorms, a nearby section of cloud cleared and they happened to spot the dog perched precariously on the ledge.

"The helicopter crew noted the position, went back to collect the two training winchmen and returned to the stranded dog.

"The weather had luckily presented them an ideal window of opportunity to use the rest of their training time to rescue the dog!

"Little Ben was terrified and cold, so he was flown to the nearby Glenmore Lodge who then rushed him to the Strathspey Veterinary Centre.

"We have since heard that the dog is doing well and has been happily reunited with its owner."

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