"It is important to always leave space at the top of the trap for turtles to breathe," he says, "but sometimes things happen that are out of control when we are away from the traps." The Florida cooter, unfortunately, had swallowed water after being caught in the trap, and lay motionless for 20 minutes after Steen placed the reptile at the bottom of his boat.
But a twitch of the turtle's leg spurred the herpetologist to action. Steen - attempting to mimic the chest compressions he had learned in a human first aid course - tried to support the turtle's circulation with squeezes near the back legs.
"Pressing on the shell wasn't an option so I reached under the shell and tried to push upwards on the animal's hindquarters," he says. "I was encouraged by some gurgling noises and the animal began to breathe more naturally on its own." And once the reptile was safely back in the realm of the breathing, Steen set the cooter free.
Check out more of Steen's work on Twitter @AlongsideWild or on his blog Living Alongside Wildlife.