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 on Wednesday was lowered to the ground, scooped up the cold and frightened animal, and both were raised back to the helicopter.
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.
Officials say Ben has recovered from exposure and has been reunited with his owner.