Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Spratt, a boatswain's mate stationed on the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, displays his hammer hook invention in Kodiak, Alaska, April 12, 2018. Spratt combined two tools commonly used by crew members working on a buoy deck, a chain hook and a maul, which allowed for a safer working environment by de-cluttering the buoy deck. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Dean.

Innovation from a life at sea

The crews aboard buoy tenders like Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, homeported in Kodiak, Alaska, use both sledgehammers and hooks to work on buoys but with so many tools, wouldn’t it make sense to combine? That’s exactly what Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Spratt that earned him the 2017 Capt. Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Award after coming up with the hammer hook.