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Howard Lewis Bayne, IV, best known as SeaJay, passed away on May 2, 2023. SeaJay was born with salt water in his veins at the Beaufort Naval Hospital on March 11, 1970. He graduated as a Staff Sergeant from Valley Forge Military Academy, PA in 1988. He received his Associate’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Management from the University of South Carolina. He studied Computer Sciences at the University of Arizona (where he spent countless hours riding motorcycles through that beautiful state) and also studied Liberal Arts and Marketing at Rutgers University in NJ.
As a child and young man, SeaJay enjoyed many visits to Beaufort to visit his grandparents. Beaufort is where he developed a deep love for the water and the Lowcountry. He participated in his first full boat underwater recovery and salvage at the age of 13, and then he was hooked for life. He began his formal scuba diving career in 1986. Since then, he has earned sixteen PADI major dive certifications, to include Wreck Diver, Deep Diver, Rescue Diver, Master Diver, and Dive Master, just to name a few. He also studied underwater physiology at Duke University’s Hyperbaric Facility for the US Navy.
SeaJay put his education and skills to work when he founded his business Deep South Divers. Thankfully, through his promotional efforts of his business, we can spend a few more minutes with him as we watch the hours of videos he developed and shared with the world via YouTube and Facebook. Go to http://www.DeepSouthDivers.org
Along with a general fascination of maritime history, he particularly enjoyed researching significant local shipwrecks and really became somewhat of an expert in this field. He performed dives and conservation work on the H.L. Hunley recovery and was a Lead Diver for project ASSURE, a search and recovery organization working to locate the Tybee Bomb dropped from a USAF bomber after a midair accident.
SeaJay was an active member of Beaufort Water Search and Rescue and the Beaufort Sportfish and Dive Club. He was an aquarium diver with the SC Aquarium in Charleston as well as the Atlanta aquarium and was an avid underwater archaeologist and megalodon tooth hunter.
He SURVIVED Cancer and more than 15,000 dives.
Yet, with all these achievements, interests, and victories, his Crowning Achievement was the truest love and passion of his life: his wife, Christy and their family. He wasn’t shy about sharing this love with us all. His open, honest, and unequivocal love for his family was his most endearing quality, and his time spent with them was his happiest. His family who loved him and will miss him dearly also include his parents, Howard Lewis Bayne, III and Rhetta McAlhaney Bayne. His siblings: Beth (Troy) Musto, Matthew (Allison). His stepchildren: Dustin Slowik, Chandler Drew (Roxy), Hunter Drew, Reganne Drew. His nieces: Stella and Libby. His parents-in-law: Earl and Joyce Pope. His brother-in-law: Earl Pope, Jr (Anna) and their children Skylar, Wyatt, and Cooper. Plus: his many, many friends all of whom he considered family. Thank you to everyone that loved him back.
A celebration of life will be held at the Carteret Street Methodist church on Thursday, May 11, 2023. The church is located at 408 Carteret Street, Beaufort, SC 29902. Visitation will begin at 11:00 AM for friends and family with services to follow at noon. A reception will then follow the church services at the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club, 30 Yacht Club Drive, Beaufort, SC.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Wounded Nature (www.WoundedNature.org) in Lew’s name.