I think everyone is assuming too much from one tiny Nooze story which is woefully poor reporting.
1-The story does NOT say the USCG rescued him three times. It says they made one sortie, and that he previously has received unspecified "assistance" twice before. That could be SeaTow for all we know.
2-The USCG does indeed have the power to do something about "repeat offenders". They can declare a vessel manifestly unsafe and physically arrest the vessel, and then the operator, if it leaves the dock after that declaration. They did this some years ago to some (dare we say loony?) family that was trying to go out on a flotsam raft time and again, and all the bleeding hearts ganged up about it.
3-Both USCG and state law enforcement can take action, in many ways, just depending on how motivated they are. But seeing that we have a terribly incomplete Nooze Bit that only says the USCG went out ONCE...
There's no reason shown that the USCG would be motivated. The vessel had torn sails and a failed engine. So? Maybe he got towed for the engine the last two times, and the sails were his fall-back. And they were rotten and untested. We still just don't know. All this story proves, is that many Noozepapers are best used for wrapping fish.
Halekai, if you ever find out some facts...Please do share.