By Hebrides News

An essential piece of equipment lost on the bottom of the sea risks hampering a multi-million pound installation of fibre superfast broadband to the Western Isles.

A large eight-tonne metal plough from the cable-laying ship MV René Descartes got stuck on the seabed, 100 metres down, as it was digging a trench through heavy mud to bury miles of expensive fibre optic cable.

It appeared to jam on something hard and its strong towline broke during attempts to pull it free as the underwater wires were being buried to the east of North Uist on Monday.

No spare plough is onboard the ship forcing ship-owners Orange Marine to look at getting a replacement shipped in from Norway.

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