(NBC) – Drone video shows a man rescue a woman caught in the waves of California’s Pacifica Beach last week.

Josh Hug, a UC Berkley professor, was at the beach to capture the high surf. That’s when he saw a woman lying face down in the sand with waves pinning her down.

Hug tossed aside his drone controller and raced to help, but his drone was still rolling and caught video of him struggling to keep the woman out of the waves, her dog by their side.

He couldn’t life her himself but eventually two others came and they were able to move the woman to safety.

First responders were on the scene just minutes later.

Hug, now a hero, describes the incident as “intense.”

“I noticed that there was somebody who looked like they had just gotten owned by a wave, right. Just knocked over. Somebody with a dog and they seemed to be rolling with the wave and I was like, that’s not good,” Hug said. “As I was trying to help her up she just couldn’t move, she was incapacitated in some way. At that point it became extremely clear this was a life or death situation.”

With every crashing wave, Hug said “it felt like the clock was ticking.”