In long-distance, high-speed underwater laser communication, because of the strong absorption and scattering processes, the laser pulse is stretched with the increase in communication distance and the decrease in water clarity. The maximum communication bandwidth is limited by laser-pulse stretching. Improving the communication rate increases the intersymbol interference (ISI). To reduce the effect of ISI, the Viterbi equalization (VE) algorithm is used to estimate the maximum-likelihood receiving sequence. The Monte Carlo method is used to simulate the stretching of the received laser pulse and the maximum communication rate at a wavelength of 532 nm in Jerlov IB and Jerlov II water channels with communication distances of 80, 100, and 130 m, respectively. The high-data rate communication performance for the VE and hard-decision algorithms is compared. The simulation results show that the VE algorithm can be used to reduce the ISI by selecting the minimum error path. The trade-off between the high-data rate communication performance and minor bit-error rate performance loss makes VE a promising option for applications in long-distance, high-speed underwater laser communication systems.